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Washington, D. C. 

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Professor of A-rnericitn. History in. the 

XJniversity of Pennsylvania. 




Department op the Interior, 

Bureau of Education, 
Washington, I). C, April 21, 1893. 

Sir: I have the honor to i)resent liereAvith for publication a circular 
of information entitled "Benjamin Franklin and the University of 
Pennsylvania." Some years since this Bureau offered a similar circu- 
lar on "Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia," which was 
printed in an edition of 20,000 copies, all of which have been distributed. 
The demand still continues for this circular and it is hoped that it may 
be reprinted at no distant date. The present circular of iifformation, 
it is expected, will be of equal interest to the country. While Thomas 
Jefferson, w ith that breadth of statesmanship which characterized all 
of his labors, kept unceasingly belbre his view the importance of popu- 
lar education to reinforce and make effective the operations of the 
principle of local self-government, on the other hand Dr. Franklin, 
himself a noteworthy example of a self-educated man, kei)t in view the 
importance of education as the foundation of thrift and social develop- 
ment. These two men seem to have furnished more than any other two 
men tlie guiding principles which have prevailed in our civilization, 
])olitical and social. 

The circular here mentioned on Thomas Jefferson and the Univer- 
sity of Virginia has made widely known the wonderful insight of the 
great Virginian into the best modes of organizing popular educa- 
tion. To him is due the organization of the University of Virginia, 
which is more and more copied or approached in the regulations and 
l)ractical details of colleges and universities North and South. The 
author of that circular, Prof. H. B. Adams, has treated his theme in 
such a way as to throw great light upon the early history and growth 
of what we fondly style American ideas. Our local self-government 
jealously guards itself against the danger from centralized power. The 
assumption on the part of the General Government of any functions 
which can be better performed by the local authorities is regarded as 
mischievous by the vast majority of thinking people in our country. 
But whatever goes to the education and enlightenment of the citizens 
in their several localities goes for the increase of local directive power. 
The only kind of help which is always good and usefid is that which 
helps an individual or a community to help itself. Jefferson saw this 
truth, and he saw its relation to popular education as'a necessary con- 
comitant to local self-government. 



Beujamiii Franklin stands somewhat in contrast to Jefferson in the 
fact that he looks more to the social welfare than to the political func- 
tion of the people. His most iironounced idea is that of thrift. He 
wishes to have it impressed on each man or woman or child that indus- 
try and economy are prime sources of power. But he is in agreement 
with Thomas Jefferson as to the importance of an elementary educa- 
tion to i)repare the citizen for intelligent application of the lessons of 
industry and thrift. 

The center from which Franklin's practical influence in education 
extends is Philadelphia. Connected, as he was, for many years with 
the management of what is now the University of Pennsylvania, that 
institution is in some sense a development of his ideas as to higher 
education. But his benetiictions and his counsel originated many 
other streams of educational influence. 

These lines of educational influence have been carefully investigated 
by Prof. Francis Newton Thorpe, of the University of Pennsylvania, 
and his results are now offered for publication. I am conlident in the 
belief that this treatise will be received with the same interest that 
was accorded to the former circular upon "Jefferson and the Uni- 
versity of Virginia." The two principles which have hitherto divided 
the attention of statesmen and public benefactors, each one contending 
for the mastery, but each compromising in turn to the other, are these 
two ideas, represented resi)ectively by Jefferson and Franklin, the idea 
of the political basis and the idea of the social basis of a free govern- 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

W. T. Harris, 


Hon. Hoke Smith, 

Secretary of the Interior. 



Preface 5 

Chapter I. Franklin's Self-Education. The editor (Fellow, 1885-87) 9 

II. Franklin's Ideas of Education as seen in his Writings. The 

editor •- 133 

III. The Scope of the University. William Pepper, M. D., LL. D., '62. . 205 

IV. Historical Sketch of the University. John L. Stewart, ph. b., '89 215 
V. The University in its Relations to the State of Pennsylvania. 

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypackcr, ll. D 233 

VI. The Eelations of the University and the City. J. G. Rosen- 

garten, a.m., '52 '. • 243 

VII. The Department of Arts. William A. Lamberton, a. m., '67 255 

VIII. The Medical Department. Horatio O. Wood, m. d., ll. d., '62 ... 273 

IX. The Law Department. C. Stuart Patterson, a. m., ix. u., '60 283 

X. The Town© Scientific School. George F. Barker, ph. d 289 

XI. The Department of Dentistry. James Truman, p. d. s 309 

XII. The Wharton School of Finance and Economy. The editor 320 

XIII. The School of Biology. Joseph T. Rothrock, m. d., '68 327 

XIV. The University Hospital. Richard Wood - 343 

XV. The Veterinary Department. William Hunt, M. »., '49 356 

XVI. The Department of Physical Education. Randolph Farics, a. m., 

M.D.,'85 361 

XVII. The Department of Philosophy. George S.FuUerton.B. D., ph. D. 364 

XVIII. The School of American History and Institutions. The editor. 370 

XIX. The Laboratory of Hygiene. John S. Billings, M. v., ll. d 375 

XX. The Department of Arclueology. Daniel G. Brinton, M. » 377 

XXI. The Graduate Dejiartment for Women. Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, a. m. 384 

XXII. The University Libraries. Morris Jastrow, jr., ph,' d., '81 387 

XXIII. The School of Architecture. Warren P. Laird 396 

XXIV. University Undergraduate Life, 1740-1791-1891. Joseph Siegmund 

Levin, '87 '. 403 

XXV. Organizations Within the University. FelixE.Schelling, a.m., '81 410 

XXVI. The Alumni of the University. Persifor Frazer, '62, Henry Budd, 

'68, and J. Sergeant Price 420 

XXVII. The Bibliography of the University. Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, a. m., 

'62 438 

Index 445 




Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1791 Frontispiece. 

The University Library 24 

Facsimile of the Beginning of the Original Draft of the First Charter of the 

University of Pennsylvania, 1794 y 62 

Facsimile of the Signatures 62 

William Smith, d. p., the first Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, 

1755-1779 144 

Benjamin Franklin, 1790. (From the original in possession of the American 

Philosophical Society, by permission) 184 

William Pepper, M. D., lb. d., Provost of the University, 1881 to date 194 

The Main College Building. (From the southwest) 240 

The College Chapel 256 

Geological Museum — College Hall: (From the vt^est) 258 

The Medical College. (From the west) 273 

Pathological Histological Laboratory — Medical Hall 276 

Pathological Laboratory —Medical Hall 278 

Chemical Lecture Room — Medical Hall 280 

Medical Museum — Medical Hall 281 

Lecture Room in Law School 286 

Organic Laboratory — College Hall. (From the south) 292 

Private Room of Professor of Civil Engineering — College Hall 302 

Physical Lecture Room — College Hall 306 

Dental Operating Room 312 

Seminary Room — Wharton School 324 

The School of Biology 328 

Private Room of late Prof. Leidy— Biological Hall 332 

Museiun — Biological Hall . . . : 336 

Biological Marine Laboratory 340 

The University Hospital 343 

Veterinarv Hall ." 356 

Veterinary Hospital, with Ambulance 3.58 

Lecture Room — Veterinary Hall 358 

Dibsecting Room — Veterinary Hall 360 

The Athletic Grounds 362 

Laboratory of Hygiene 376 

Archieological Museuiu 377 

The Library. (From the east) 388 

Reading Room — University Library 392 

Among the Book Stacks — Library ^. 394 

Plan of the Department as proposed for 1892-'93 402 



Benjanihi Franklin is tlie tjT)e of the self-educated man. His phil- 
osophy is utilitarian, and his educational notions are stamped by that 
system. He would define morality, politics, and natural philosophy by 
a series of experiments in which every member of the human race should 
participate. His scheme of education provides that all men should 
follow his example. The iniiuence of Franklin on American education 
is felt to this day. I have attempted to outline this influence by trac- 
ing his own self-education; by presenting his ideas on education as 
shown in his works; by comparing them with the ideas of the eminent 
men of his time, Adam Smith, Hum6, Priestly, AVashington, John 
Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and some of the physiocrats; by describ- 
ing the educational institutions which he founded — the Library 
Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, and the 
University of Peunsylvania^and the principal educational institutions 
founded in Pennsylvania in conformity with his ideas — Frankliii and 
Marshall College, the" Franklin Institute, Girard College, and the 
Philadelphia Manual Training Schools. These institutions touch life at 
every point and represent every important phase of modern education. 

This volume is designed to show more particularlj' Franklin's relations 
to the University of Pennsylvania, and the history and growth of that 
institution for a century and a half. Lack of^ space has prevented a 
more elaborate account of that relation and of that history. Perhaps 
no part of the volume is more suggestive than the tables showing the 
attendance at the University since 1740, It has been attended by per- 
sons from one hundred and thirteen States and countries, and the 
number of annual courses given amount to 60,747. Its alumni are found 
all over the world. Particularly has the University been of interest to 
the people of the Southern States who have been, with a slight inter- 
ruption, its constant patrons. The tables show how in recent years the 
awakened interest in university life brings^ matriculates from all parts 
of the world. The University has thus become^he permanent expo- 
sition of Franklin's ideas in education, and his name and that of the 
University are imperishal»ly linked together. He was the first pres- 
ident of the Board of Trustees and was an active member of the Board 
for nearly half a century. The brief account of Franklin's influence 
on Adam Smith, on Priestly, and on Hume, and of the educational 



ideas held by Wasliington, Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton, will sug- 
gest to others, I trust, interesting fields of exploration in American 
educational history. 

"The great aim and end of all learning" wrote Franklin in 1749, in 
bis "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania,'" 
"is to serve mankind, one's country, friends aiid family." 

On thi» broad conception Franklin and his associates founded the 
University of Pennsylvania. At the close of nearly a century and a 
half after that conception was formulated, the University of Pennsyl- , 
vania-is organized and administered, its numerous courses of study ar- 
ranged and its academic life proceeds in substantial conformity with 
the great aim and end which Franklin proposed. The plan of the 
founder and his associates comprehended the significant educational 
movements of modern times and at the same time set forth the classic 
excellence of conservatism. Language, literature, science i)ure and ap- 
plied, ethics, history, government and constitutions, "sound politics," 
logic, the history of commerce, archaeology, law, anatomy, and medi- 
cine, the ever-increasing group of studies which "are useful to man- 
kind" distinguish the University of Pennsylvania to-day and enhance 
the fame of its founder. That group of historical, economic and politi- 
cal studies which includes so large a portion of modern instruction was 
clearly outlined in the original plan for the University of Pennsylva- 
nia, and this institution was the first to organize several special schools 
whose instruction is particularly useful in such ji country as ours. 

The unwearied labors of unselfish men, i)rovosts, trustees, and pro- 
fessors, aided by generous friends, for a century and a half have cen- 
tered in the University of Pennsylvania; but it is during the last twenty 
years and more parti(;ularly during the last decade that the truly uni- 
versity plan of the founder, enlarged by the exi)erience of many at- 
t€mi)t8 towards its realization, has taken concrete form. The recent 
growth of the University has been phenomenal. It is doubtful if any 
other institution of learning in America shows such a vigorous growth 
of parts and such efficient unification of the whole, 

A magnificent estate of over 40 acres has been secured on the high- 
lands of Philadelphia overlooking the valley of the Schuylkill, twenty 
buildings for a great variety of purposes have been erected at a cost 
of $l,r)<M),0OO, and the scoi)e of the University has been enlarged by the 
foundation of numerous sppcial or technical schools, such as Wharton 
School of Finance and Economy, the School of Biology, the Veterinary 
School, the S<hool oF American History and Institutions, the School of 
Hygiene, the S<!liool of Architecture, the Graduate School for Women, 
and the Wistar Institute of Anatomy. 

These creations illustrate forcibly the living touch of the University 
with the world, and these schools are administered to the advantage 

■* ' See i». 58 et seq. 


of an ever increasing body of students from all parts of the world. In 
1881 there were 972 students in attendance; there are 2,055 in 1892. 
The teaching force of the University has increased till it bears a greater 
ratio to the number of students receiving instruction than exists in any 
other university in America. 

The services of Benjamin Franklin to his countrymen are the admi- 
ration of the world; but no service done by this American statesman 
surpasses the service of the great University which he and his associ- 
ates founded. 

Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the University of Virginia, with 
intimate knowledge of the relative worth of American and European 
institutions of learning, in 1807, while President of the United States, 
wrote to Dr. Caspar Wistar, then professor of anatomy in the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania : " 

I have a grandson, the son of Mr. Randolph, now abont 15 years of age, in whose 
education I take a lively interest ; * * » there are particular branches of science 
which are not so advantajjfeously tartght anywhere else in the United States as in 
Philadelphia, » * * your Medical School for anatomy, and the able professors 
* * * give advantages not to be found elsewhere. 

It is of great interest to be able to record that eighty- five yeais later 
the name of the distinguished anatomist and teacher, Dr.Wistar, is for- 
ever associated with the University of Pennsylvania by the generosity 
of Gen. Isaac J. Wistar, in the foundation and endowment of the Wistar 
Institute of Anatomy. 

To-day, the Medical School Avith its learned faculties and its four 
years' course ; the Towne Scientific School, with its admirably equipped 
laboratories; the Biological and Veterinary Schools ; and the School of 
Hygiene; the University Hospital and the Dental School, each ade- 
quately equii)ped with commodious buildings, suggest that were Presi- 
dent Jefterson living he might again si)eak of " advantages " at the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, " not to be found elsewhere." 

Nor has it been in science alone that the facilities of the University 
have increased; the entire group of political, historical and economic 
studies is emphasized in the clearest manner and the several schools 
organized in that group, like the scientific schools in the Universily, 
give special strength to the whole educational unit of the University. 

It is the unification of the University and the enormous financial 
strengthening which it has received during the last ten years that dis- 
tinguish the administration of the present Provost, Dr. William Pepper, 
whose wife and children are descendants of Benjamin Franklin and who 
by a happy destiny has been enabled to give concrete form and living 
power to the comprehensive plans of the University's great founder. 
Nor should history be silent concerning the wise generosity of the 
Board of Trustees, some of members have been the guaranty of 
the material success of many large undertakings in the University. 


The editor acknowledges gratefully the zealous cooperation of the 
various contributors to the volume. Each chapter has the authority of 
its author, Special acknowiedginents are due to the faithful Secre- 
tary of the Board of Trustees, Rev. Jessi; Y. Burk, to whose intimate 
knowledge of University aftairs a large portion of the value of the 
book is due. The elaborate statistical table on page 202, involving 
iMuch research, was i)repared by Mr. Clarence S. Mclntire, to whom 
acknowledgments are made. 

The Editor. 



Chapter I. 


A man whose biographer can say of hiiu that he never spoke a word 
too soon, nor a word too hite, nor a word too much, nor failed to speak 
the riglit word at the right season, and who fdled high public ofiices 
and performed their duties with fidelity which has made his public 
service not only illustrious but of the highest type of its kind, who 
founded institutions of great public utility, and who also successfully 
managed his own private affairs, may be expected to have some ideas 
on education. 

Benjamin Franklin tells us that he "was born and bred in poverty 
and obscurity, from which he emerged to a state of affluence and some 
degree of reputation in the world, and that he went through life with 
a considerable share of felicity". He frequently reflected on his 
worldly prosperity and was happy to record that his family was of 
homely but goodly stock, of the middle class of ancient England, and 
that even so distinguished a divine as Cotton Mather made honorable 
mention of Peter Folger, Franklin's maternal grandfather, as "a 
godly, learned Englishman." 

Franklin was not sent to (jollege, according to his account, because 
a college education was too expensive; " the mean living many so edu- 
cated were afterwards able to obtain " was a suflBcient proof to Frank- 
lin's father that worldly success was not surely to be won after so 
great an expense. 

To understaml Franklin's notions of education it is necessary to 
trace his own. He remembered in hi.s old age how his father "at the 
table liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neigh- 
bor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or 
useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of 
his children. By this means he turned our attention to what was 
good, just, and prudent, in the conduct of life." This insight into 
Franklin's childhood shows how early, in life his mind was impressed 



with the paramount importance of things ingenious or useful, and to 
the end of his life he judged of the value of men's labors by their use- 
ftilness to mankind. When it was to be decided at what employment 
Franklin should be put, his father sought a practical solution of the 
problem by taking him to walk with him, " and see joiners, bricklayers, 
turners, braziers, etc., at their work, that he might observe my inclina- 
tion, and endeavor to fix it on some trade or profession that would 
keep me on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me to see good 
workmen handle their tools; and it has been often useful to me to 
have learnt so nmch by it as to be able to do some trifling jobs in the 
house, when a workman could not readily be got, and to construct little 
machines for my experiments, while the intention of making the ex- 
periment was fresh and warm in my mind." 

From a child he was fond of reading, and he tells us that he spent 
the little money that came into his hands for books. It is natural for 
a man to insist that the education of the young should be like that 
which he received himself, and the books which Franklin read in his 
boyhood remained, in kis opinion, the proper books /or all children to 
read. "The Pilgrim's Progress," Burton's "Historical Collections," 
I)e Foe's "Essay on Projects," and Dr. Mather's " Essays to do Good" 
had an influence on some of the principal events of Franklin's life. It 
may be said that two of these books, " Pilgrim's Progress" and De 
Foe's " Essay on Projects " are among the most fertile books ever 
written. In evidence, it may be said, that exceptthe Bible, " Pilgrim's 
Progress" is more freely read throughout- the world than any other 
book, and De Foe's "E.ssay on Projects" contains intimations and 
projections of nearly all the most salutary reforms in morals, in law, 
and in pra^;tical ethics that have since blessed the world. 

It was Franklin's bookish inclinations that made him a printer, and 
to the end of his life iu^. ilhisti'ated, whenever he had occasion to speak 
or write on educational matters, how his training as a printer <k'ter- 
mined his ideas in education. 

His mind was universal, and he was, therefore, interested in all 
hiinian affairs. As a boy, he took a peculiar interest in the drama, and 
to the en<l of his life was fond of the theater. On this mimic stage 
he saw the larger action of life epitomized, and he was doubtless able 
to draw conrlusions from the conduct of the players on the stage which 
were of value to him in his large diidomatic action. Throughout his 
works are constant references to the plays of the day, and he is fond of 
illustrating a letter to a friend by a passing remark ujwn some popular 
play. His Iwyhood was cast in the age of ballad mongery, and to the 
end of hifi days he enjoyed that kind of literature. The petty vender 
of street ballads is the potent illustration of the persist<incy of this kind 
of literature to our day. 

A boy would make friends of bookish lads, and one John 
Colhus, with whom Franklin early became acquainted, enabled him to 

franklin's self-education. 11 

enter upon a new epoch in life — the epoch of conversation. Between 
these boys there were long controversies on the passing questions of 
the day, and on the various theories in the projection of which youtba 
are so fertile. Collins, we are told, denied the " propriety of educating 
the female sex in learning, and their abilities for study." Franklin 
took the opposite side, and it seems to have converted him in favor of 
woman's education. It was this controversy which, left unsettled in 
conversation, was carried on by correspondence, and Franklin thus 
began to be a writer. He tells us th'at — 

Three or four letters of a side had passed, "when my father happened to find my 
papers and read them. Without entering into tlie discussion, he took occasion to talk 
to mo about the manner of my writing; observed that though I had the Advantage of 
my antagonist in correct spelling and pointing (which I owed to the printing house) 
I fell far short in elegance of expression, in method and perspicuity, of which he 
convinced me by several instances. 1 saw the justice of his remarks, and tHence 
grew more" attentive to the manner in writing and determined to endeavor at im- 

This proof of the ability of Franklin to compare himself with others 
is significant, for it illustrates one of the chief powers of his mind. 
He was quick to notice points of superiority or of inferiority, and being 
ambitious to excel he proceeded in the most practical way to overcome 
the deficiencies. The method in which he overcame them became, in 
his opinion,- the right procedure for all other persons in a similar con- 
dition, and it was later formulated by him as a method in education; 
it was to take the best writings of the day and to imitate them. * Hap- 
pily for him, Addison was giving the "Spectator" to the world; and an 
odd volume, a third, fell into Franklin's hands. He tells us that the 
reading of it produced a sensation new to him. He read it again and 
again and was delighted with it, and he afterwards laid down the prop- 
osition that all children could derive the same benefit from the "Spec- 
tator" which he had derived. 

His method was simple, yet original ; it was to read the " Spectator" 
antl to rewrite it from memory; he compared his version with the 
original, and corrected and rewrote it until his own composition was 
as perfect as that of Addison himself. Thi& taught him the limitations 
of his own vocabulary and led him, doubtless, afterwards to insert in Ins 
plan for the education of youth a provision for the study of the die 
tiouary. In his " Sketch of an English School " he provides, for the 
first or lowest class to which children of his age when he began read- 
ing the " Spectator" would belong, that — 

A vocabulary of the most usual difiicnlt words might be formed for their use, with 
exydanations; and they might daily get a few of those words and explanations by 
ho:irt, which would a little exercise their memories; or at least they mlglit write a 
number of them in a small book for the purpose, which would lielp to fix the mean- 
ing of those words in their minds, and at the same time furnish every one with a 
little dictionary for his future use. 

His own boyish experiences taught him the necessity for a vocabu- 


lary, and not for a vocabulary merely, but for a vocabulary always re- 
sjmnsive to the thouglit that the word used might be the best word 
that could be used. This opiuiou, formulated by Frauklin in his 
^'Sketch of an Enjflish School for the Consideration of the Trustees of 
the Philadeljdiia Academy," to which I shall frequently refer, is plainly 
the result of Franklin's experience in self-education; and when he tells 
us in his "Autobiography" that he made verses because their composi- 
tion laid him under the constant necessity of searching for variety of 
words and for words exactly, suited to the thought, and that he turned 
talffs into verse, and after he had forgotten the prose turned them back 
again, and in this manner, by comparing his work afterwards with the 
original, discovered his faults and amended them, we catch a glimpse 
of the value of comparison in education, and not merely of compari- 
son, but of comparison made for practical purposes. So x)erfectly did 
this scheme work that he tells us in a delightful way how he'sometimes 
had the jdeasure of fancying that in certain parts of small import he 
had been lucky, enough to improve the method or the language, and 
this encouraged him to think he might possibly, in time, come to be a 
"tolerable English writer," of which he was exti*emely ambitious; and 
to show how such a result was possible for any one who, like himself, 
was an indented apprentice, he adds that the time for making these 
exercises and for reading was at night after his work was done, or in 
the morning before it began, or even on Sundays when he was alone; 
and ^s he rather dislikied to attend church, he eased his conscience by 
perfecting himself in English style. Certainly the judgment of pos- 
terity has awarded him a first rank in English composition; in other 
words, Franklin takes pains to tell us how his self-education was a 
success, and how all other i)eople, if they choose, may educate them- 
selves and become " tolerable English writers." 

He soon discovered his ignorance in figures, and at 17 was old enough 
to be ashamed of it. He overcame his deficiency in figures as he had 
overcome his defidency in composition, by taking " Cocker's Arithmetic" 
and going through the whole by himself " with great ease." Not only 
arithmetic, but books of navigation. Seller's and Shermy's, were studied 
in the same manner, but, having no practical use for theliigher mathe- 
matics, he never pursued them. About this time he read Locke " On 
the Human Understanding," and the "Art of Thinking," by Messis. Du 
Port Royal. 

Intent on improving his language, he found an English grammar, 
Greenwood's, at the end of which " there were two little sketches of the 
arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dis- 
pute in the Socratic method," and he soon afterwards procured Xeno- 
jdion's " Memorable Things of Socrates." He had made a discovery: 
If Addison had charmed him, Xenophon captivated him, and from 
Xenophon he learned the greatest lesson of his life. " From that time," 
says he, " I was charmed by it, adopted it, dropped my abruj)t contra- 

franklin's self-education 13 

diction and positive Jirjjiiiuentation, and put on the humble inquirer 
and doubter." 

Again and again in the ''Autobiography" and from otlier sources we 
learn howFranklin through his long life avoided dogmatic disputation 
and won his cause quite as much by liis practice in the art of doubting 
and <iuestioning as by his powers for confutation. He was a born dip- 
lomat, and his sense of the principles of diplomacy was early manifest. 
So important did the Socratic method become in his ideas of education 
that, in drawing up his "Proposals relatiug to the Education of Youth 
in Pennsylvania," out of which grew the University of Pennsylvania, 
he encouraged all those studies which involve conversation and writing. 
He would acquaint youth with the best models among the ancients, 
particularly pointing out their beauties. But his diplomatic experience 
made him familiar with the feebleness of mere talk, and he said: 

Modem political oratory being chiefly performed by the pen and press, its advan- 
tages over the ancients in some respects are to be shown ; as that its effects are more 
extensive and more lasting. 

He anticipated the age of books, newspapers, magazines, and the 
numerous jiroductions of pen and press, and was fully conscious of the 
enormous and superior power of the printed page over the spoken 
word ; so, from his own experience, he advocated all those studies by 
which the human mind is most widely reached and most powerfully in- 

His own writings are frequently in the Socratic method,^ and in Jiis 
" Sketch of an English School " he advocated the reading of short 
pieces by the master, not exceeding the length of a " Spectator," with the 
proper modulations of voice, due emphasis, and suitable action where 
action is required, and that the youth should imitate the manner of the 
original. The beauties of the piece were to be discussed by the in- 
structor, and from a variety of readings, by wlkich good styles of all 
kinds were made known, children should learn to imitate such excel- 
lence and be able readily to put their thoughts into the form best 
adapted to accomplish the end. 

Having discovered the value of the Socratic method, he next dis- 
covered the value of expressing himself in terms of modest dittidence, 
and to the end of his life he was noted for the modesty with which he 
advanced his opinions. Perhaps no illustration of this quality is liner 
than his speech read to the convention of 1787 in its closing words. 
Franklin himself was too feeble to read his sj)eech, and his colleague, 
Thomas Wilson, read it for him. Perhaps this speech gave us the 
Constitution of the United States. 

I coufbss [said Franklin] that there are several parts in this Constitntion that I 
do not at present approve, but I am not sure that I shall never approve them, for, 
having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better in- 
formation or fjiUer consideration to change opinions, even on important subjects, 
which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is, tlierefore, that the 
older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment and to pay more respect 


TO the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects in religion, 
think themselves in possession of all truth, and that whenever others differ from 
them it is so far error. 

And then he characteristically points his speech by atelliBg illustra- 
tion : 

Steele, a protestant in education, tells Pope that the only difference between our 
churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is that the Church of 
Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though 
so many private iiersons think almost as highly of their own infallibity as they do 
of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, wlio, in a dispute 
with her sister said : "I do not know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody 
but myself that is always in the right" — "il n'y a personne que moi qui a toujours 

It is not often that the lessons of childhood regulate our lives, but the 
Socratic method of Franklin's boyhood determined his whole attitude 
toward public questions, and, probably more than any other character- 
istic of the man, made him the most successful diplomat that oiir country 
has ever had. Frequently in addressing his younger friends ho laid 
down the lesson of modest diffidence as highly conducive to practical 
success in life. His defense for this training was that if we advance 
our vsentiments too dogmatically we may not only provoke contradiction, 
but prevent a candid attention, so that he bases his philosophy of diffi- 
dence upon its utility. 

The facility with which Franklin had undertaken his self- education 
in literature and in mathematics characterized all his efforts in practi- 
cal aftjiirs. Throughout his " Autobiography" he is fond of mentioning, 
whenever he can, the advantages of self-education. The principle 
which won success in rewriting a "Spectatoi'" he applied in industry, 
and soon detected its virtues in jiractical affairs. Like all self-educated 
men, his experience crystallized in maxims, some of which he formulated 
liiraself, but nearly all of them were taken from the experience of man- 
kin«l at large. liike Daniel Webster, Franklin made great use of the 
labor of others, and it is interesting to note his account of the principles 
and morals which influenced the events of his life. 

My parent* [ho writes] had early given me religious impressions, and brought 
mo through my childhood piotisly in the dissenting way. Rut I was scarce 15, 
when, after doubting by turns several points, as I found tlu-m disputed in the dif- 
fen-nt brtoks I rrad, I began to doubt of the Revelation itself. Some books against 
deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons wliich 
had been j)roachc-d at Hoyle's lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on 
me <|uito contrary to what was intended by them, for the arguments of the deists, 
which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refuta- 
tions; in sliort, I soon became a thorough deist. 

Hi.s habit of doubting where he could not overcome by an adequate 
reply bred in him not only a love of experiment to test the explana- 
tions of j)henomena, but letl him when he was unable to obtain a satis- 
factory explanation to remain in doubt. He was one of the greatest 
of experimentalists. As might be expected of one whose whole phi- 
losophy was utilitarian, his life is replete with apt illustrations of the 

franklin's self-education. . 15 

utility of experiments, so that his biographer is able to give several 
pages to the mere enumeration of his discoveries, all of which were of 
a useful kind, such as : The deliverance of mankind from smoky chim- 
neys; tlie practical means of ventilation; numerous discoveries in 
electricity; the determination of the temperature of the Gulf Stream; 
the consumption by a fire of its own smoke; the construction of water- 
tight compartments in ships; and others. So strong was his habit of 
observation that in his various journeys across the ocean, and in the 
colonies, in Great Britain and Ireland, and on the Continent, lie was 
always alert to detect not only tlie wants of the peojile in wliatsoever 
region lie was traveling, and the means for supplying those wants, but 
he also gave minute attention to natural history, as when on his first 
voyage irom Philadelphia to England in 172G, being then in his twen- 
tieth year, he records in his journal changes in the color of dolphins, 
and experiinents with doljihins living and dead to determine the cause 
of the loss of their luster; and a few days later he makes observations 
on a shellfish found upon a floating weed in the Gulf Stream, and 
records that in order to strengthen his conjecture whether his opinions 
with respect to the development of this creature were true he resolved 
to keep " the weed in salt water, renewing it every day, till we came 
on shore, by this experiment to see whether any more crabs will be 
produced or not in this manner." His own powers of observation and 
comi)arison being of the highest order, he naturally imputed to the 
effects of such powers when exercised by man many of the advantages 
which he himself derived from them. This doubtless led him in his 
"Plan for the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania" to encourage ex- 
perimentation, that by instruction in mechanics men might be inlbrmed 
"of the principles of that art by which weak men perform such won- 
ders, labor is saved, and manufactures expedited." 

And, again, touching on agriculture, a subject which received careful 
attention from liis eminent contemporaries Washington and Jetferson, 
having aftirmcd that "natural history will also afford opportunities of 
introducing many observations relating to the preservation of health, 
which may be afterwards of great use," he adds: 

While they (the sttuleiits) are reading natural history might not a little gardening, 
planting, grafting, and inoculating ho taught and practiced; and noAV and then ex- 
cursions to the neighboring plantations of the hest farmers, their methods observed 
and reasoned upon for the information of youth, the improvement of agriculture 
being useful to all, and skill in it no disparagement to any? 

We should not forget that modern life compels a curricuhini in tech- 
nical instruction in our colleges and universities which could not 
possibly be called for in Franklin's time. lie lived before the manufac- 
turing epoch; before the age of rapid transi)ortation and the applica- 
tion of electricity and steam to the wants of man; therefore we need 
not expect to find in his "Proposals for the Education of Youth" the 
equipment of a moderu chemical, mechanical, or biological laboratory. 

!•; THE U^'IVEliyiTi' OF 1'E^■^■SYLVA^'1A. 

The ciiief ofcupjitioii of xVinericans was farming, and like VVasbiiigtotl 
and Jerterson, as avc shall see later, lie advocated all possible experi- 
ments which would imjirove the princii)al eini)loyment of the times in 
which he lived and greatly add to its productivity. But the i)rinciple 
by which he was animated was the same as that which when apjilied 
has equii>ped the best laboratories of the modern educational world. 

The first step in science is to doubt, and Franklin at eighteen had 
taken that step. Ho began to formulate from his own reason and ob- 
servation the principles or maxims of the moral world. An experi- 
menter by birth, and by his intellectual powers and by his training 
becoming usefully conventional in his manner both of acquiring and of 
giving knowletlge, he adapted himself to the conditions about him and 
escaped eccentricity, so that he was enabled to influence the world by 
his principles of life when another man, equally intellectual, by neglect- 
ing to adapt himself to the conventions of society would have had no in- 
fluence over it whatever. 

Frankli n's sociology was founded on his conception of the general 
welfare; this was to him the great problem of life. It is to him we are 
indebted for the established use of the ])hrase " the general welfare." 
His large conception of humanity made him a citizen of the world and 
his conception of morality was founded upon his interpretation of the 
general welfare. He says: 

I grew convinced that trnth, sincerity, and integtity in dealings between man and 
man wj-re of the utmost importance to the felicity of life, and I formed written reso- 
lutions, which still ri-main in my journal book, to practice them ever while I lived. 

Observation had taught him the utility of virtue, and it may be said 
that had there been no system of morality in the world when Franklin 
was born he would have produced one and would have founded it upon 
experimentation, and his experimentation would have been based s'olely 
upon the doctrine of utility. 

We are not surprised to learn from him that revelation had little 
weight with him; that he entertained the opinion that certain actions 
should be forbidden because they were not beneficial to man, not that 
they were to be considered injurious to man because they were forbid- 
den. In other words, all that promotes the general welfare is good, 
all that hinders it is batl. Yet his childhood teaching had bred in him 
the belief in the existence of a God, and with this primary conception 
of the Divine Providence controlling the destiny of the human race 
he joined the utilitariivn doctrine that truth and sincerity and integ- 
rity are virtues, ]>ecause they are of the utmost imiMirtance to the feli<;ity 
of life; therefore, in his "Sketch of an English School," he would have 
all the lessons chosen for reading "contain some useful instruction 
whereby the understanding of youth may at the same tinie be ini 
proved." He would have Dr. Johnson's " First Principles of Morality" 
reail \)\ scholars in the fifth form, "and explained by the master to lay 

fuanklin's self-education. 17 

a solid to. adjitiou of virtue aud piety in their minds." And in liia 
• Proposals for the Education of Youtli in Pennsylvania" he remarks: 

As to tlieir atutlies, it would be well if they could be taught everything that is 
useful and everything that ia ornamental. But art is long, and their time is short. 
It is therefore proposed that they learn those things that are likely to be nuist useful 
and most ornamental; regard being had to the several professions for which they are 

And he would teach morality " by descanting and making continual 
observations on the causes of the rise and fall of any man's character, 
fortune, and power, mentioned in history; the advantages of temper- 
ance, order, frugality, industry, and perseverance." 

It is to be noticed that he valued temperance, order, and frugality 
and the other virtues as advantageous to the general welfare, and did 
not recommend the study of morality for its own sake. Because the 
virtues were so advantageous, he declared "the general natural tend- 
ency of reading good history must be to fix in the minds of the youth 
deep impressions of the beauty and- usefulness of virtue of all kinds, 
public spirit, and foi-titude." 

Having laid down the proposition that virtue was advantageous and 
that it might be taught by exaini)les from history, he turned to the sub- 
ject of religion in the curriculum, and advocated its presence there for 
the same reason that he had received it into his own philosophy.' 

History [he says] will also afford freiiuent opportunities of showing the necessity 
of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public, the advantages of a religious 
character among private persons, the mischief of superstition, and the excellency 
of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern. 

In other words, Franklin found religion in the world and he conclu- 
ded that it was a necessary element in promoting and securing the 
general welfare, and because it is necessary, therefore it should be ob- 
servetl; but Franklin, unlike Emerson, would not have produced a sys- 
tem of religion had there been none in the world in his time. Having 
admitted by the force of his own self-experimentation the necessity of 
religion in society, he deduces its usefulness to the i)ublic, and this 
giving occasion for another indulgence in comixirison, he at once con- 
eluded that "the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern, 
was the most excellent." Had Franklin been born in India he proba- 
bly would have advocated the religion of Buddha. 

The notion that history aftbrds frequent opportunities of showing the 
necessity of a public religion from its usefulness to the public, which is 
laid down in his "Proi)Osals for the Education of Youth in Pennsyl- 
vania," of 17-il), was anticipated thirty years before, as he tells us in 
his "Autobiography." His observations before his twentieth year 
having taught him the advantages to be derived from ingenious ac- 
quaintance, he organized the famous club called the "Junto," which 
met on Friday evenings, and he drew up rules for its procedure. Three 
<lasses of subjects were to be discussed by the company — morals, poli- 
1180 2 


tiCvS, and natural philosophy — for these three couiprelieiided all the utili- 
ties, aud the wise understanding ofthe principles of them vould contrib- 
ute to the general welfare. In making up the Junto, Franklin took men 
who were successfully engaged in the ordinary pursuits of life. There 
was a copier of deeds, a surveyor, a shoemaker, a mechanic, a mer- 
chant's clerk, several printers, and a "witty gentleman of fortune." 
Franklin would have us believe that one common interest held these 
men together — the love of books. If I were to name the symbol of 
Franklin's philosophy of education, I should say a book. Dr. Frank- 
lin and Dr. Samuel Johnson were as little alike as any two men of that 
age in their ideas of politics and religion ; they were both self-educated 
men, and the means of their education was books. It was Dr. Johnson 
who said, "Kead anything five hours a day and you will soon be 
learned." Franklin and Johnson were the two great men of that cen- 
tury who owed their power and place in life to their love of books. 
Franklin, like Carlyle, probably would have said, "The best university 
is the best collection of books." 

The Junto at Philadelphia was the first book-loving and book mak- 
ing body of men of America, for out of their labors grew- the Library 
Company of Philadelphia, which became the parent of all the circu- 
lating libraries of America. The place of books in Franklin's [)hiloso- 
phy of education is almost paramount j he recognized the lasting 
l>ower of the printed page, and therefore in his scheme for the instruc- 
tion of children he elaborates liis theory of education in making pro- 
vision for their exhaustive practice of composition and the reading of 
books. We must not forget that at the time that the Junto was formed 
books were scarce in America, that the ability to reatl and write was 
not common in the colonies, that there were no American libraries, and 
that books were expensive. 

Each of the six classes into which Franklin would divide his ideal 
English School was chiefly engaged in composition and in reading. 
His first, or lowest, class should read pieces such as "Croxall's Fables," 
which were to be read aloud to them by the master and the difficult 
words explained. It was this class which was to exercise memory by 
daily getting new words and by making a "little dictionary for future 
use," In the study of the "Fables" very great care was to be taken 
for the imi)rovement in orthograj)hy by learning the English grammar 
rules, and every eflort made to secure "good spellers very early." 
Franklin, like all printers, had a horror of bad spelling. "For," said 
he, "it is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art in his 
own language as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound 
and diflerent significations." This wa« the child's first eqnipment— to 
understand a book. t 

The second class was "to be taught reading with attention and with 
proper modulations of the voice, according to the sentiment and the 
subject" It is a pity that so many teachers of our day are almost in 

fkanklin's self-education. 19 

total ignorance of the inexpressible value to the child of understanding 
what he reads, and one of the saddest errors in primary education is 
the omission to teach "reading with attention and with proper motlu- 
lations of the voice, according to the sentiment and the subject." The 
understanding of the lessons in the second class would require them to 
give an account first of the i>arts of speech and the construction of one 
or two sentences, which would oblige them to recur frequently to their 
grammar, and to fix its principal rules in their memories; "next, of the 
intention of the writer or the scope of the piece, the meaning of each 
sentence, and of every uncommon word. This would early acquaint 
them with the meaning and force of words, and give them that most 
necessary habit of reading with attention." It was to this class that 
the master was to point out all the beauties and lessons of the pieces. 
Variety of subject and style in prose and verse, stories, sermons, the 
sj^eeches of generals to their soldiers, which comprised the most inter- 
esting portions of "Plutarch's Lives," with which Franklin had become 
familiar in his boyhood, speeches in tragedy and in comedy, the mimic 
world which Franklin loved, odes, satires, letters, and blank verse, 
all comprising the various equipment of the man who would express 
himself readily to his fellow-man, were to constitute the reading lessons. 

An examination of a modern series of readers will show at a glance 
the world's opinion of Franklin's plan for the instruction of classes by 
well-chosen lessons for reading, and I venture to say that the one book 
in our jiublic schools which conveys, or can be made to convey, the 
greatest amount of training is the reading book. 

In order that children might read with attention Franklin required : 

That they should first study and xmderstand the lessons before they are put upon 
leading them properly, to which end each boy should have an English dictionary to 
help him over diflicnlties. When our boys read English to us we are apt to imagine 
they understand Avhat they read, because wo do, and because it is their mother 
tongue ; but they often read, as parrots speak, knowing little or nothing of the mean- 
ing; and it i$ impossible that a reader should give the due modulation to his voice 
and pronounce properly unless his understanding goes before his tongue and makes 
him master of the sentiment. Accustoming boys to read aloud what they do not 
first understand is the cause of those even, set tones, so common among readers, 
which when they had once got a habit of using they find so difficult to correct, 
by which means among fifty readers we scarcely find a good one. For want of good 
nadiug, pieces published with a view to influence the minds of men for their own 
or the public benefit lose half their force. Were there but one good reader in a 
neighborhood a public orator might be heard throughout a nation with the same 
advantages, and have the same effect upon his audience as if they stood within the 
reach of his voice. 

Here, as ever, Franklin bases his ideas of education upon the ad- 
^ antages which were to be derived from them in promoting the general 
welfare. He would have b|;y'S learn reading in order to understand 
the sentiment, and not merely to understand, but that the sentiment 
might influence them as if it had been spoken to them, for a book 
in Franklin's opinion had no right to exist unless it contributed to the 


public benetit, and reading, the means by which the thought of the 
book Avas made public, sh<mld be taught to the advantage of the whole 
nation. There will bo occasion frequently to refer to Franklin's plan 
for the education of children. 

The Junto was almost as advantageous to Franklin and his asso- 
ciates as any university of the times could have been. Uis conception 
of the methods and possibilities of self-education was large, and the 
a<;tive interest which each member of the Junto showed in its pros- 
l)erity demonstrated to him the advantage in general education of the 
same methods which made the Junto prosperous. The controlling 
principle of the Junto was that of self-interest; its rules and usages 
are evidently derived from Franklin's recollections of Cotton Mather's 
Benelit Societies. Cotton Mather had greatly intluenced Franklin in 
his youth and had originated a system of neighborhood guilds, or ben- 
etit societies, which were formed in the several Congregational churches 
directly under Mather's influence. These societies, to twenty of which 
Mather himself belonged, were organized for the purpose of i^romoting 
the general interests of religion in Massachusetts and Mather had 
drawn up " certain points for consideration" — that is, rules or orders for 
the management and to indicate the scope of the societies. The rules 
for the government i)f Mather's societies are interesting as the -prece- 
dent for the rules of the Philadelphia Juuto. 

The "Points of Consideration" were the following: 

1. Is thoro any remarkable disorder iu the place that requires our endeavor for 
the suppressiou of it; aud in what fair, likely way may we endeavor it ? 

2. Is there any particular peryju whose disorderly behavior may be so scandalous 
and so notorious that we may Cu \\\A to send unto the said person our charitable 
adiuoiiitionsf Or are there any contending persons whom we should admonish, to 
quench their contentions. 

3. Is there any special service to the interest of religion which we may conven- 
iently desire our minister to take notice of? ' 

4. Is there anytliiug wo may do well to mention unto the justices for the further 
promoting g»tod order! 

h. Is there any sort of officers among us to such a degree unmindful of their 
•duty that we may do well to mind them of it? 

6. Can any further methods be devised, that ignorance and wickedness may be 
cha««'d from our people in general, and that household piety in psirticular raay 
fl<mrish iunong themf 

7. Dotjs there appear any instance of oppression or fraudulence in the dealings 
of any sort of people that may call for our essays to get it rectified? 

8. Is there any matter to be humbly moved into the legislative power to be en- 
acted into a law for public benetit? 

y. Do wo know of any person languishing under sore and sad affliction; and is 
there anything we may do for the succor of snch an afflicted neighbor? 

10. Has any perstJU any proposal to make for our own further advantage and assist- 
ance, that we ourselves may be in a probable ancU;egular capacity to pursue the in- 
tention before us? m 

In Mather's Benefit Societies Franklin, as a boy, had heard discus- 
sions of a pra<;tical character bearing upon the immediate con(;erns of 
lil'e about him, and the impression on his mind was permanent. In- 

franklin's self-education. 21 

atructed by tliis boyish experience, in 1730 be organized the Junto with 
a purpose similar to that of the societies — the improvement of its mem- 
bers and their fellow-citizens in virtue, knowledge, and practical wisdom. 
Franklin did not seek to teach religion, but to encourage the acquisition 
of useful knowledge in morals, politics, and natural history. The mem- 
bership in the Junto was limited; and a candidate declared his love for 
mankind in general, his belief in freedom of thought, a love of truth for 
truth's sake, and his desire to obtain knowledge without prejudice, and, 
perhaps of chiefest importance, to communicate to others all kinds of 
useful information within his power. 

Tbe Junto met on Friday evenings, and its rules illustrate Franklin's 
theory as to " abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation," and 
tlie "modest difl&dence" of "a humble inquirer and doubter." There- 
fore, instead of prescribing dogmatic rules, or, as we would say, adopt- 
ing a constitution and by-laws, the Junto, at the opening of its meetings, 
read twenty-four queries which, it will be noticed, maybe grouped iinder 
the three headings of morals, politics, and natural philosophy. These 
queries were: 

Have you read over these queries this inoraing in ordei* to consider what you might 
have to offer the Junto touching any one of them ? Viz : 

I. Have you met with anything in the author you last read, remarkable or suitable 
to be communicated to tlie Junto, particularly in history, morality, poetry, physic, 
travels, mechanic arts, or other parts of knowledge? 

•_*. What new story have you lately heard agreeable for telling in conversation! 
:>. Hath any citizen, in your knowledge, failed in his business lately, and what 
have you heard of the cause? 

4. Have you lately heard of any citizens thriving well, and by what means f 

5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere, got his 

6. Do you know of a fellow-citizen who lias lately done a worthy action deserving 
praise and imitation, or who has lately committed an error proper for us to be warned 
against and avoid? 

7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately ol>ser\ed or heard, of 
iuil»rudeuce, <tf passion, or of any other vice or folly? 

s. What happy effects of temperance, of prudence, of moderation, or any other 

H. Have yon, or any of your acquaintance, been lately sick or wouudesd? If so, 
what remedies were used, and what were their effects? 

10. Whom do you know that are shortly going on voyages or journeys, if one 
8li«)iild have occasicm to send by them? 

I I. Do you think of any thing at present in which the Junto may be serviceable 
ti> mankind, to tlieir country, to their frien«l8, or to themselves? 

12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that you have 
luanl of? And what have you heard or observed of his character or merits? And 
wlu'ther, think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige him, or encourage 
liiin as he deserves? 

i:i. Do you know of any yonng beginner lately set np, whom it lies in the power 
of the Jtmto any way to enconragPi? 

14. Have you Lately obsers'ed any defect in the laws of your country, of which it 
would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment? Or do you know of 
any beueficial law that is wantiug? 


15. Have yoii lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of the people! 

16. Hath any body attacked your reputation lately? And what can the Junto do 
towards securing it? 

17. Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or any of 
them, can procure for you? 

18. Have you lately heard any member's character attacked, and how have you 
defended it? 

19. Hath any man injured you, from whom it is in the power of the Junto to pro- 
cure redress ? 

20. In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in anj- of your hon- 
orable designs ? 

21. Have you any weighty affair on hand in which you think the advice of the 
Junto may be of service? 

22. What benefits have you lately received from any man not present? 

23. Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice and injustice, which 
you would gladly have discussed at this time? 

24. Do you see any thing amiss in the present customs or proceedings of the 
Junto which migjit be amended? 

This practical meaus for a liberal education was effected by Franklin 
when he was but 21 years of age, and undoubtedly the advantages 
which he and his associates obtained from their discussions in the 
Junto largely contributed to Franklin's success in life, and tended to 
shape all his ideas in education. If anyone would understand Frank- 
lin's idea of a school, let him examine the history of the Junto. 

The times were productive of a different set of inquiries or questions 
for debate than would interest a modern debating society; we must 
not forget that the eighteenth century in America was the period of 
the determination of the theory of republican government, and the 
Junto discussed political questions, all of which tended to the defini- 
tion of government. The political thinkers of the eighteenth century 
gave us the definition of our theory of the nature of government, the 
nineteenth century is working out the theory of the administration of 
government. The political discussions in the Junto, as some of the 
subjects are recorded, were : '• 

Can any one particular form of government suit all mankind ? How may the 
possession of the Lakes be improved to our advantage ? 

Some of the moral questions were : 


Which is less criminal, a bad action joined with a good intention, or a good action 
with a bad intention? 

Should it* be the aim of philosophy to eradicate the passions? 

Can a man arrive at perfection in this life? 

Which is best, to make a friend of a wise or good man that is poor, or of a rich 
man that is neither wise nor good. 

Which of the two is the greatest loss to the country if they both die f 

Of questions touching on natural philosophy: 

Whence comes the dew that stands on the outside of a tankard that has cold water 
in it in the sunmier time? 
Why does the flame of a candle tend upward in a spire t 

pkanklin's self-education. 23 

And of questions of a practical turn, one suggestive of Franklin 

Would not an office of insurance for servants be of service, and what methods are 
proi)er for orectin<f such an office? 

This is of interest when we think of the numerous comj)anies which 
now insure employers against loss by employes, and in other forms, of 
the insurance of domestic service. » 

The Junto was limited to a membership of twelve, and Franklin in- 
sisted on kindness of speech, good manners, and cheerfulness in debate, 
which were secured by common agreement, by the singing of songs, and 
by diversions of various kinds. The influence of the Junto on Ameri- 
can life is felt to this day. America was probably the first country in 
the world in which debating societies have prospered among all classes 
of men, and they have tended to educate the American people in all 
sorts of subjects which have contributed, as Dean Stanley would have 
said, to the "education of after life." A volume might be written on 
the influence of debating societies in the education of Americans. 

I do not understand that Franklin would make a school a debating 
society merely, but an examination of his plan for six classes in an 
English school shows how the methods and ends of the Junto were 
ever present in his mind. The third class in his English school was 
"to be taught speaking properly and gracfully, which is near akin to 
good reading, and naturally follows it in the studies of youth." The 
scholars were to "begin with learning the elements of rhetoric from 
some short system, so as to be able to give an account of the most use- 
ful tropes and figures." 

Let all their bad habits of speakiag, all offenses against good grammar, all cor- 
rupt or foreign accents, and all iniiiroper phrases be pointed out to them. Short 
speeches from the Roman, or other history, or from the parliamentary debates, might 
be got by heart, and delivered Avith the proper action, etc. Speeches and scenes 
ill our best tragedies and comedies (avoiding everything that could injure the morals 
of youth) might likewise be got by rote, and the boys exercised iii delivering or act- 
ing them ; great care being taken to form their manner after the truest models. 

For their further improvement, and a little to vary tlieir studies [he says] let 
them now begin to read liistory, after having got by heart a short table of the prin- 
cipal epochs in chronology. They may begin with Rollin's ancient and Roman his- 
tories, and proceed at proper hours, as they go through the subsequnt classes, with 
the best histories of our nation and colonies. Let emulation be excited among the 
the boys by giving, weekly, little prizes, or other small encouragements, to those who 
are able to give the best account of what they have read, as to time, places, names 
of persons, etc. This will make them read with attention, and imprint the history 
well in their memories. In remarking on the history the master will have fine op- 
portunities of instilling instruction of various kinds, and improving the morals as 
well as the understandings of youth. 

All this in the spirit of the Junto, the book, the moral instruction, 
the debate; but there is more of the Junto also: 

The natural and mechanic history contained in the "Spectacle de la Nature" 
might also be begun in this class, and the subject should be continued through the 


subsequent classes by other books of the same kind ; for, next to the knowledge of 
duty, this kind of knowledge is certainly the most useful as well as the most enter- 
taining. The merchant may thereby be enabled better to understand many commod- 
ities in trade; the handicraftsman to improve his business by new instruments, 
mixtures, and materials; and frequently hints are given for new manufactures, or 
new methods of improving land, that may be set on foot greatly to the advantage 
of a country. 

It is not strange that Franklin should pronounce studies in natural 
history " the most useful as well as the most entertaining." He saw in 
them the possibilities of almost infinite improvement in manufactures 
and agriculture. His views of the value to manufactures of studies in 
natural liistory is remarkable, for at the time in which he wrote there 
were no manufactures in America, and his broad generalization of 
the value of mechanics and natural history anticipates our present 
manufacturing age. 

Throughout his life Franklin was a scientific man, but he seems to 
liave made all his experiments in science for utilitarian purposes. He 
seeuis never to have pursued scientific investigations merely for specu- 
lation. The whole cast of his mind was of a practical kind, and he ad- 
vocated the stttdyof "natural and mechanic history" in school because 
sucli studies would give hints " greatly to the advantage of the coun- 
try." The wisdom of Franklin's plan for including natural liistory in 
its broadest meaning in the course of study is significantly recognized 
in the foundation, endowment, increase, and practical value of the nu- 
merous technical schools in the country at the present time. He an- 
ticipated the chief educational departure of modern times. 

In the Junto were discussed many of the economic questions of the 
day, and (me debate so interested Franklin that he elaborated the sub- 
ject in a pamphlet entitled " The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Cur- 
rency," a pamphlet of great importance practically at the time and in 
the history of political economy, and of which more will be said. 

The organization of the Junto made known more clearly one of the 
wants of the time, a library. The members had a few books as their 
personal property, but there were not enough books among them t<j 
meet the wants of the society. The meetings of the Junto were first 
held in a tavern, one of the alehouses cominon in Philadelphia at the 
time, where the members assembled informally and brought such 
books as illustrated the subjects for debate. This seems to have sug- 
gested to Franklin the organization of a library for the use of the Junto 
in debate. His suggestion was approved and a small room in Mr. 
Grace's house was hired for the use of the Junto and for the storage of 
its books. Some of the members complained that their books were 
misused, and therefore took them home and deprived the Junto of the 
use of them. 

The biographer of Franklin reminds us that books in 1731 were not 
like books of our day, cheap, abundant, and of convenient size; the 
heavy folios of that time — and some of the original books of the Junto 

franklin's self-education. 25 

may now be seen in the Pliiladelpliia Library — were not adapted for 
ease of reading- in traveling, and Franklin conceived of ibunding a 
permanent library. With his usual sagacity he made it of common 
interest. A subscription was undertaken by which each subscriber 
should contribute 2 pounds sterling for the first ]mrchase of books and 
10 shillings a year for the increase of the library. He had some diffi- 
culty in securing a sufficient subscription. Hiding himself under the 
phrase of "a number of friends," and following the ruling i)rinciple of 
"humble diffidence" of which he was so fond, he was at last able to 
see the affair going on smoothly, and in five months fifty names were 
obtained. A list of books was made out and an order to the value of 
45 pounds was sent to London. 

The books arrived in Philadelphia in October, 1732, and were placed 
in a room in the house of Mr. Grace Avhi(;h was set apart for the use of 
the Junto; a librarian was appointed, and the books were given out 
once a week. Franklin served as librarian for a time. The undertaking 
was a success and we are told of donations to it of books, money, and 
curiosities. It grew rapidly; the company obtained a charter, and 
increased its menibership to a hundred, and, as Franklin says: 

This was the mother of all the North American subscription libraries, now so 
nmnerons. It is become .a great thing in itself, and coutinnally goes on increasing; 
these libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made the 
common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other conn- 
tries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to tho stand so generally made 
thronghont the colonies in defense of their privileges.' 

When Franklin describes the library as "a great thing in itself," he 
is emphasizing the cardinal doctrine of his educational system, the use 
of the right book. His scheme of education embodies methodical in- 
stSiuction in a few selected books which embody the best thoughts ot 
the best minds, which should be conveyed to youth in the best man- 
ner; that is, in a natural manner. It is impossible to estimate the 
influence of Franklin's idea on America, If we measure it by the in- 
fluence of libraries in our country, we might safelj^ affirm that Amer- 
icans are more indebted to Benjamin Franklin for their education than 
to any other man that ever lived. The large possibilities of Franklin's 
principles of education are to be valued by their adaptability to the 
ever-growing wants of the people. It should not be forgotten that the 
principle of the circulating library and the first principle of Franklin's 
scheme of education grew up in his mind from his own experience in 
self-education; in the reading of books when a child, in learning to 
write English correctly in the organization of tlie Junto, in its debates 
on morals, politics, and natural i»hilosophy,and in the necessary equip- 
ment for its debates — a library. 

Franklin's practical mind seems to have viewed morality as it viewed 
politics and natural philosophy, that by thinking, by experiment, by 
observation, and by practice, a man might arrive at moral perfection. 



It would be a gross iiejxlet't of Franklin's philosophy of education were 
we to omit some account of his "Art of Virtue." We must not forget 
that Franklin was born in Kew England; that Ms father and mother 
were members of the Old South church, and that he liimself was bap- 
tized there; that his earliest impressions were religious impressions; 
that his New England home Avas the home of an earnest and somewhat 
polemic Calvinism, with its rigid simplicity. The insistence of iiis j)arents 
upon a wholesome industry and practical morality, and a stern recogni- 
tion of the "chief end of man," made an impression upon Franklin's 
character that never was effaced. He says : 

I had been religiously educated as a Presbyteriau; but, though some of the dog- 
mas of that jjersuasion, such as the eternal decrees of God, election, reprobation, etc., 
appeared to me unintelligible, and I early absented myself from the assemblies of the 
sect (Sunday being my studying day), I never was without some religious principles. 
1 never doubted, for instance, the existence of a Deity, that He made the world, and 
governed it by His providence ; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing 
good to man ; that our souls are immortal ; and that all crimes will be punished, and 
virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter.' These I esteemed the essentials of every 
religion, and being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected 
them all, though with different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less 
mixed with other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or con- 
firm morality, served principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another. 

He therefore seldom attended public worship, though he had " an 
opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted," 
and he regularly paid his annual subscription for the support of the 
only Presbyterian meetingin Philadelphia. Viewing religion as " proper 
and useful," he conceived of it, as lie conceived of politics and natural 
philosophy, that it should be the subject of investigati<m, improvement, 
and adaptation to the wants of man. He could not think of religion 
as being incapable of improvement, and as he identified religion and 
morality, he says : 

It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous ])roject of arriving at 
moral perfection; I wished to live without committing any fault at any time, and 
to conquer all that cither natural inclination, custom, or comi)any might lead mo 
into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I do not see why 
I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found that I had un 
dertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined; wliilo my attention was 
taken up and care employed in gimrding ag:iinst one fault, I was often surprised ])y 
another; habit took the advantage of inattention;, inclination Avas sometimes too 
strong for reason. I concluded at length that the mere speculative conviction that 
it was our interest to bo completely virtuous was not sufficient to prevent our slip- 
ping, and tliat the contrary habits must be broken and good ones acquired and es- 
tablished before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of mind. 

In other words, Franklin proposed to educate hiinself in morality as 
he had educated himself in English composition and in arithmetic. He 

'See the clause on a belief in a future state of rewards and punishments in the 
Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania of 1776, and of 1790, which Franklin was 
concerned in making. It is in the present State Constitution of 1873. Art. i, 9 4. 
The Constitution of 1776 and of 1790 are in "The Proceed in <xs Relative to Calling 
the Conventions of 1776 and 1790," etc. Harrisburg, 1825, p. 54, p. 129, etseq., p. 296. 

^ranklin's self-education. 


therefore contrived a method of selfeducatiou iii morals. He drew up 
a catalogue of the virtues, and, for sake of clearness, used "rather more 
names, with fewer ideas annexed to each, than a few names with more 
ideas." These virtues were thirteen in number: Temperance, silence, 
order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, 
cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, humility. The moral world to him 
was a region for experiment, and he was the moral world. He pro- 
ceeded to experiment with himself as he would experiment in electric- 
ity. Perhaps the originality and practical tendency of his mind was 
never better displayed than in his scheme for perfection in the "art of 
virtue." He says: ' 

I made a little Look, in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues. I ruled 
each page with red iuk so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, 
marking each column with a letter for the day. I crossed these columns with 
thirteen red lines, marking the heglnning of each line with the first letter of one of 
the virtues, on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark by a little black 
spot every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting virtue 
upon that day. 

Forvi of the pages. 


Eat not to dullness ; 
• Drink not to elevation. 

S. j M. 




































This little book is dated July 1, 1733, when Franklin was a little past 
27 years of age, and from the form of the pages, whicli is given, we can 
read Franklin's progress in the "art of virtue" for one week. His 
scheme provided for a complete course in thirteen weeks, and four 
courses in a year, and taking a lesson from the gardener, mIio does not 
attempt "to eradicate all the bad herbs at once (which would exceed 
his reach and strength), but works on one of the beds at a time, and, 
haWng ac(H)mplished the first, proceeds to a second," so Franklin liad 
hope that "by clearing successively my lines of their spots till in the 
end, by a number of courses, I should be happy in viewing a clean 
book after a thirteen week's daily examination." 

This self education in virtue is od the same ])rinciple as Mather's 
"Societies" and Franklin's "Junto," for self-improvement. Being a 
practical man, Franklin strengthened his little book with maxims and 
quotations — one from Addison's " Cato," which he had doubtless h'arned 
years before in the "Si)ectator;" another from "Cicero," and a third 
from the "Proverbs of Solomon:" 

I^ength of days is in her right hand, and in lier left hand riches and honor. Her 
ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 

But not satisfied with mere quotation, he prefixed to his tables of 
examination for daily use, a little i)rayer of his own composition, of 
itself a lesson in self-improvement in the "art of virtue": 

powerful Goodness ! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! Increase me in that wis- 
dom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform Avhat 
that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thj- other children as the only re- 
turn in my power for thy continual favors to me. 

His "Art of Virtue" was the art of promoting the general .welfare by 
self improvement and self-education in morals. Franklin was a busy 
man and he found it troublesQuie to keep an ordinary book which must 
be renewed from time to time, and which, "by scraping out the marks 
on the paper of old faults to make room for new ones in a new course, 
became fall of holes," he says : 

1 transferred my tables and precepts to the ivory leaves of a memorandnm book, 
on which the lines were drawn with red ink, that made a duralde stain, and on 
those lines I marked my faults with a black lead pencil, wliich marks I could easily 
wipe out with a wet sponge. After a while I went tlirougli one course only in a 
year, and afterwanls only one in several years, till atlengtli I omitted them entirely, 
being employed in voyages and business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that 
interfered; but I always carried my little book Avith me. 

Whenever we read in Franklin any reference to virtue, and he is 
constantly referring to the virtues, we must have in mind his "Art of 
Virtue", and his scheme for self-improvement in morality, for I suppose 
he thought it illogical for any individual to require a child to form 
habits of self-education in politics and natural history and not in mo 
rality. His scheme of education was after all the practical application 
of Socrates' famous maxim : "Know tliyself." Perhaps the time may 
come when Franklin's method of self-education in morality shall be the 
prevailing one in society, but it is hindered at present by the more 

franklin's self-education. 29 

popular vicarious metliod of moral improvement. If every man would 
make self education in morals a matter of business, we might be able to 
trace an influence of Franklin's ''Art of Virtue" in our country as 
great as his influence in founding public libraries. Again and again 
tluongh his life Franklin mentions his intention of writing and pub 
lishlng "a great and extensive project that required the whole man to 
execute," and this was a treatise on the "Art of Virtue." 

It was in the consideration of this " great and extensive project," 
whose treatment he could not find in the books of the World, that he 
made some observations on one of his readings in the library. May 19, 

That the great affairs of the world, the wars, revolutions, etc., are curried on and 
affected by parties. 

That the view of these parties is their present general interest, or what they take 
to be such. 

That the different views of these different parties occasion all confusion. 

That while a i» arty is carrying on a general design, each man has his particular 
private interest in view. 

That as soon as a party has gain'd its geueral point each member becomes intent 
upon his particular interest, whicli, thwarting others, breaks that party into divis- 
ions, and occasions much confusion. 

That few in i>ublic affairs act from a mere view of the good of their country, what- 
ever they may pretend; and, tho' their actings bring real good to their country, yet 
men primarily considered that their own and their country's interest was united, 
and did not act from a principle of benevolence. 

That fewer still, in public alfairs, act with a view to the good of maukind. 

There seems to me at present to be great occasion for raising a United Party for Vir- 
t lie, by forming the virtuous and good men of all nations into a regular body, to be 
govern'd by suitable good and wise rules, which good and wise men may probably 
be more unanimous in their obedience to, than common people are to comuu)U laws. 

I at present think that whoever attempts tliis aright, aud is well qualified, can 
not fail of pleasing God, and of meeting with success. 

If I understand these observations correctly, they signify that Frank- 
lin conceived of a moral order, and proceeding on that i)rincii)le he 
made scientific deductions, which were that the moral order would ob- 
tain if men understood the principles of the moral world, and therefore, 
he would encourage all men to make self improvement the basis for 
such moral investigation and from the mass of these moral experiments 
deduce the ruling principles of the moral world. 

In this mental process which is illustrated in Franklin again and 
again we see the man of science. 

When in 1757 Franklin had engaged passage to England in a New 
York packet ship, had embarketl stores for himself and his sou, and 
was waiting the tedious orders of Lord Louden, who delayed the sail- 
ing of the fleet more ,than three months, he had occasion to practice 
his " art of virtue " and illustrate all his capacity for patience and hap- 
piness. It was upon this voyage that he remarked : 

How imperfect is the art of ship building, that it can never be known till she is 
I lied whether a new ship will or will not be a good sailer, for that the model of a 
good sailing shij) has been exactly followed in a new one, which has proved on the 


contrary, remarkably dull. I apprehend that this may partly be occasioned by the 
different opinions of seamen respecting the modes of lading, rigging, and sailing of a 
ship; each has its system, and the same vessel, laden by the judgment and orders of 
one captain, shall sail better or worse than when by the orders of another. Besides, 
it scarce ever happens that a ship is formed, fitted for the sea, and sailed by the same 
person. • * * Yet I think a set of experiments might be instituted, first, to de- 
termine the most proper form of the hull for swift sailing ; next, the best dimensions 
and properest place for the masts ; then the form and quantity of sails, and their 
position, as the wind may be ; and, lastly, the disjiosition of the lading. This is an 
age of experiments, and I think a set accurately made and combined would be of 
great use. I am persuaded, therefore, that ere long some ingenious philosopher will 
undertake it, to whom I wish success. 

His observations on the sailing of ships ilhistrate his ideas in edu- 
cation : by frequent experiment rules for the conduct of life should be 
deduced and the dominant idea in all experimentation should be 

The idea of experimentation and the deduction of principles from it 
is the chief idea in Franklin's philosophy of education; he would 
have natural and mechanic history taught because deductions might 
be made from such instruction .that would improve agTiculture and 

He would have composition taught to the fourth class in his English 
school because — 

Writing one's own language well is the next necessary accomplishment after good 
speaking. It is the writing master's business to take care that the boys make fair 
characters, and place them straight and even in the line ; but to form their style and 
even to take care that the stops and capitals are properlj' disposed is the part of 
the English master. The boys should be put on Avriting letters to each other on any 
common occurrences, an«l on various subjects, imaginary business, etc., containing 
little stories, accounts of their late reading, what parts of authors please them, and 
why; letters of congratulation, of compliment, of rec^uest, of thiiuks, of recom- 
mendation, of admonition, of consolation, of expostulation, excuse, etc. In these 
they should be taught to express themselves clearly, concisely, and naturally, with- 
out aftected words or high-flown phrases; all their letters to pass through the mas- 
ter's hand, who is to point out the faults, advise the corrections, and commend what 
he finds right. Some of the best letters published in our own language, as Sir Wil- 
liam Temj)le'8, those of I'ope and his friends, and some others, might be set before 
the youth as models, their beauties point«!d out and explained by the master, the 
letters themselves transcribed by the scholar. 

Dr. .Johnson's Ethices Elementa, or P'irst Principles of Morality, may now be read 
by the scholars, and explained by the master, to lay a solid foundation of virtue and 
piety in their minds. And as this class continues the reading of history, let them 
now,' at jiroper hours, receive some further instruction in chronology, and in that 
part of geography (from the mathematical mast»'r) which is necessary to understand 
the maps and globes. They should also be acquainted with the modem names of 
the places they find mentioned in ancient writers. The exercises of good reading 
and proper speaking still continued at suitable times. 

His fifth clasrf for further improvement in com*position. were to con- 
tinue writing letters, and in addition to begin writing — 

Little eesays in prose, and sometimes in verse ; not to make them poets, but for 
this reason, that nothing acquaints a hid so speedily with variety of exercises as the 
Qecessity of finding snob words and phras&s as will fiuit the measure^ sound, and 

franklin's self-education. 31 

rhyme of verse, and at the same time will express the sentiment. Tliese essays 
shoiikl all pass under the master's eye, who will point out their faults and put the 
writer on correcting them. Where the judgment is not ripe enougli for forming new 
essays, let the sentiment of a Spectator be given, and required to he clothed in the 
scholar's own words j or the circumstances of some good story, the scholar to find 
expression. Let them he put sometimes on abridging a paragraph of a diffuse author; 
sometimes on dilating or amplifying what is wrote more closely. And now let Dr. 
Johnson's Noetica, or First Principles of Human Knowledge, containing a logic, or 
art of reasoning, etc., be read by the youth, and the diflSculties that may occur to 
them be explained by the master. The reading of history and the exercise of good 
reading and just speaking still continued. 

This formula is the epitome of Franklin's own experience; he had 
written little essays in prose and sometimes in verse as a boy and had 
learned the art from his uncle who was a prodigious maker of verses. 

Franklin, while apprenticed to his brother in Boston, had written 
some doggerel verses and some street ballads which sold so well that 
he was persuaded of their value, but his passing inclination to become 
a poet was smothered by his father's sage remark, characteristic of 
the whole Franklin family, that "poets were usually very poor people 
and died beggars."^ 

His plan for clothing the sentiments of the Spectator in the scholar's 
own words was based entirely on his own boyish acquaintance with 
the Spectator. 

In his 16th year he had experienced the exquisite i>leasure, of which 
he spoke more than half a century later, of seeing his first piece in 
print in the Boston Courant, and though it was not signed Benjamin 
Franklin, it was his own, that is, as mucli his own as a paraphrase of 
a popular author could be. Under the signature of " Silence Dogood," 
he wrote a number of articles in which he criticises colleges and gradu- 
ates of colleges, discusses childhood, marriage, and widowhood, and in 
the language of "aflected words and high-flown phrases delivered him- 
self of his thought." These articles in the old Boston Courant were 
doubtless in Franklin's mind when he prescribed the kind of composi- 
tion useful for the classes in the English school. He had educated 
himself in that way. 

His scientific mind recognized the value of correct deductions, and 
therefore logic took a primary place in his system of education. His 
first class should be taught the English grammar rules; his second 
class should construe the parts of speech and sentences, and recur to 
the rules of grammar; his third class should learn the elements of 
rhetoric, and his fifth class should study the art of reasoning in Dr. 
Johnson's First Principles of Human Knowledge, bccau§e without 
practice in the art of reasoning correct deductions in life could not be 
made. Franklin's introduction of logic into the studies of the English 
sch ool was due not only to the tendency of his own mind, but also to 
the results of his own exi)erience. At 15, soon after awakening to 

* See a specimen of Franklin's verses, p. 118. 


his ijinoiaiu'e of tij^urcs, he leufl Jiocke's Ilumaii Uiiderstaudiug" and 
the Alt of Thinking, by Messrs. du Port Royal, whicli evidently greatly 
aided him in the orderly examination of phenomena and in making cor- 
rect dednctiou.s from his exi)eriments. He says in drawing up his Art 
of Virtue that he found himself '"incorrigible with respect to order." 
He was deficient in what might now be called system, and one of the 
serious criticisms made upon him while minister to France was the con- 
fusion of the affairs in his office. Self-study had revealed to him this 
defect, and doubtless one of the reasons for the introduction of logic 
and rules of grammar and rhetoric into the studies of childhood was to 
remedy in others the defect f^cmi which he had suffered himself. 

It should be said of Franklin that his scheme for self-education in 
morality was the source of his own regeneration, and after the formula- 
tion of the scheme of his Art of Virtue was clearly before his mind, he 
was probably as free from faults as any man of his times. The utility 
of his ideas in morals was proven in his oAvn life. 

It was at this time that he prepared for his own use his "Articles of 
Belief and Acts of Eeligion," a creed, a prayer book, and a litany, 
which, he tells us, he continued to use for twenty years. His practice 
of the " art of virtue," confirmed his opinion that, as the object of re- 
ligion was to promote virtue, religion was useful to mankind, and that 
the various religious sects of his times contributed on the whole to the 
happiness and virtue of their members. It should be said that Frank- 
lin lived during one of the great religious revivals of history under tbe 
preaching of Whitefield. It would be interesting to trace the influence 
of the revival of religion under Wesley and Whitefield ui)on the educa- 
tion of Americans.^ 

Whitefield was better known to Franklin than to any other Ameri- 
can. The great preacher came to Philadelphia in 1739 and threw the 
whol(> city into a fernu'nt. He wasasuidike Franklin as Franklin was 
unlike Dr. Johnson. He found in Franklin a true friend, a genial host, 
aid a publisher. Philadelphia was tolerant and Whitefield had no 
difficulty in gathering an audience without the interference of the au- 
thorities. Tradition tells us of the multitudes who thronged to hear 
the great ))»«^-achei\ Franklin was greatly moved by his preaching, 
but not perhjaded to adopt the preacher's doctrines. It having been 
found inconvenient to assemble in the open air the crowds who came 
to hear Whitefield, it was x>roposed to erect a building 100 feet loitg 
and 70 broad, which should be for the accommodation of the inhabi- 
tants of the town who might care to hear any preacher on any subject. 

Whitefield had changed the manners of Philadelphia. Franklin re- 
cords how, under the influence of Whitefield's preaching, " from being 
thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seems as if all the world 
were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town 

' The spread of Methodism in America, and tlio founding of seminaries and col- 
leges by that denoniinutiou piescut a pleasing sul>.i<'< t foi- historical investigation. 

franklin's self-education. 33 

in the evening withojit hearing psahns sung in different families in 
every street." The eloquence of Whitetiehl and the multitudinous "de- 
mand of the ])eople for accommodations to hear him were the occasion 
for the building of a suitable meeting house, which also became a few 
years later the first building used by the Academy of Philadelphia, 
later thejCollege of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania. 
Franklin's love of natural philosophy prompted him to use White- 
fleld's voice a^ the means of an experiment in acoustics. 

He preached [says FraukliuJ oue evening from the top of the court-house steps, 
which are in the middle of Market street, and on the west side of Second street, which 
crosses it at right angles. Both streets were lilled with hearers to a considerable dis- 
tance. Being among the hindniostin Market street, I had the curiosity to learn how 
far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards the river ; and I 
found his voice distinct till I came near Front street, when some noise in that street ob- 
scured it. Imagining, then, a semicircle, of which my distance would be the radius, 
and that it were filled with auditors, to each of whom I allowed 2 square feet. I com- 
puted that he might well be heard by more than thirty thoufaud. This reconciled me 
to the newspaper accounts of his having preached to 25,000 people in the fields, and 
to the ancient histories of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had some- 
times doubted.' 

This comment on Whitefield admits ns into a closer knowledge of 
Franklin's self-education. In his provision for the lessons of the 
second class in the English schools he advises lessons made up of a 
piece of a sermon, a general's, speech to his soldiers, and in the won- 
derful voice of Whitefield he had experimentally proved that the great 
speeches made by generals to their soldiers, such as he had read in 
Plutarch's Lives, could be heard by the soldiery. I suppose that White- 
field was the more interesting to Franklin because he demonstrated 
that the speeches of Cyrus might have been heard by his troops, and 
so illustrated some of the iiroperties of sound. 

For the sixth class Franklin prescribed a continuation of the preced- 
ing studies in — 

History, rhetoric, logi^ moral and natural philosophy; the best English authors, 
* * * as Tillotson, Milton, Locke, Addison, Pope, .Swift; the higher papers in 
the Spectator and Guardian ; the best translations of Homer, Virgil, and Horace, of 
Telemachus; Travels of Cyrus, etc. 

The hours of the day Averc to be divided and disposed in such a 
manner that some classes might be " with the writing inaster, improv- 
ing their hands; others with the mathematical master, learning arith- 
metic, accounts, geography, use of the globes, drawing, mechanics, etc., 
while the rest are in the English school under the English master's 
care.': Here is the substance of the working programme familiar in its 
development to all teachers at the i)resent time. • 

It will be noticed that Franklin mentions drawing as a study for the 
sixth class, in which he anticipates one of the most important elements 
of modern education, and, by alternation in. the disposition of the 

' It is said that some words uttered by Whitefield were distinctly heard by people 
across the Delaware. 

1180 3 


studies, he anticipates the programme of our manual training schools, 
wiiich divide the school day between literary study (language, mathe- 
matics, history, science, etc.) and the technical industrial studies (free- 
hand, machine, and architectural drawing, woodworking, smithing, 
etc.); indeed, Franklin's scheme for the education of youth anticipates 
the ideas of the modern supporters of manual training. 

Throughout his plan he develops a system of incentives to excellence. 
In his provision for the first class he says in order to improve their 
orthography : 

Perhaps the hitter is hest done by pairing the scholars; two of those nearest equal 
in their spelling to he put together. Let these strive for victory; each propound- 
ing ten woids every day to (he other to be spelled. He that spells truly most of 
the other's words is the victor for that day; helhat is Aiotor 'most days of the month 
to obtain a prize, a pretty, neat book of some kind, useful in their future studies. 

The system of prizes was a favorite one with FrankHii,' lie thought 
that it "fixes the attention of the children " and he continually refers 
to it throughout his life. In dealing with men he acted upon the \mn- 
ciple of incentives to action. As the highest encouragement to the 
classes he suggests that — 

Once a year let there be public exercises in the hall, the trustees and citizens pres- 
ent. Then let fine gilt books be given as jirizes to such boys as distinguish them- 
selves and excel the others in any branch of learning, making three degrees of com- 
parison ; giving the best prize to him that performs best, a less valuable one to him 
that comes up next to the best, and another to the third; commendations, encour- 
agement, and advice to the rest keeping up their hopes that by industry they may 
excel another time. The names of those that obtain the prize to be yearly printed 
in a list. 

The intimate knowledge of human nature, which is illustrated in this 
little scheme shows how much Franklin had learned from the printing 
business; that " fine gilt books" are more popular simply because of their 
binding and style rather than for their contents. The material success 
of subscription publishing houses attests the accuracy of Franklin's 
discrimination. He would appeal to tbe eye as v^W as to the "under- 
standings of youth." His division of the prizes into three classes and 
the publication of the names of the winners suggests that in educa- 
tional matters Franklin would apply the fundamental principles at the 
base of Adam Smith's Economics, that every man will most willingly 
jmrsue his own substantial interest. 

Franklin had learned by experience the power of incentive in study. 
Soon after his projection of his Art of Virtue he became dissatisfied 
with the mere reading of books and began tlie study of languages. He 
had long been fond of chess, and he tells us how he combined his love 
of language and love of chess by fixing a condition of the game that^ — 

Tho victor in every game should have a right to impose a task either in parts of 
the grammar to be got by heart, or in translations, etc., which tasks the vanquished 
sliall perform upon honor before our next meeting ; as we played i)ret.ty equally, we 
thus beat one another into that language. 

'He incorporated in his will a provisiou for prizes in the public schools of Bog- 
ton. (See infra, p. 119.) 

franklin's self-education. 35 

He took up the study of languages as he had taken up arithmetic 
and English composition, he taught himself. In attempting to learn 
the modern languages his attention was called again to tlie Latin tongue 
which he had studied in an elementary way in his childhood for one 
year in a Latin school. He says: 

But when I had attained an acquaintance with the French, Italian, and Spanish, I 
was surprised to find on looking over a Latin Testament, that I understood more of 
that hinguage than I had imagined; which encouraged me to apply myself again to 
the study of it, and I met with the more success, as those preceding languages had 
greatly smoothed my way. From these circumstances, I have thought there was 
some inconsistency in our common mode of teaching languages. We are told that it 
is proper to begin first with Latin, and having acquired that, it will be more easy to 
attain those modern languages which are derived from it; and yet we do not begin 
with the Greek, in order more easily to acquire the Lsitiu. It is true that if we can 
clamber and get to the top of a staircase without using the steps, we shall more 
easily gain them in descending; but certainly if we begin with the lowest, we shall 
with more ease ascend to the top; and I would therefore offer it to the consideration 
of those who superintend the education of our youth, whether — since many of those 
who begin with the Latin, quit the same after spending some years without having 
made any great proficiency, and what they have learned becomes almost useless, so 
that their time has been lost — it would not have been better to have begun with the 
French, proceeding to the Italian and Latin. For, though, after spending the same 
time they should quit the study of languages and never arrive at the Latin, the'y 
would however, have ac^iuired another tongue or two that being in modern use might 
be serviceable to them in common life. 

This observation is the substance of all discussions on teaching modern 
languages which have been made since Franklin's day. He arrived at 
his opinions by his own experience and he incorporated them in his 
Plan for the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, repeatedly referred 
to them, and in one of the last papers of his life defended them.' 

In his proposals Eelative to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, 
written in 1749, Franklin lias something to say of the study of languages 
not exactly conforming with his ideas concerning the study of modern 
languages. He had arrived at his conclusion of the superior advan- 
tages of the study of modern languages, even to the exclusion of Greek 
and Latin, by his own self education at 30 years of age in French, 
Italian, and Spanish. His Proposals Eelative to the Education of 
Youth in Pennsylvania were written sixteen years later, and the de- 
parture froill his own opinion on thestudy of languages set forth in the 
Proposals is to be attributed to the necessary compromise which Frank- 
lin had to make in order to get the Philadelphia Academy founded. 
There will be occasion to refer to these Proposals more particularly 
later on. 

In his plan fqran English school, providing for six classes, to which 
reference has frequently been made, Franklin concludes as follows: 

Thus instructed, youth will come out of this school fitted for learning any busi- 
ness, calling, or profession, except such wherein languages are required ; and, though 

1 See observations Relative to the Intention of the original founders of the Academy 
in Philadelphia, June, 1789, 


unacquairited with any ancient or foreign tongue, they will be masters of their own, 
which is of more immediate and general use, and withal will have attained many 
other valuable accomplishments; the time usually spent in acciuiriug those languages, 
often without success, being here employed in laying such a foundation ot knowl- 
edge and ability as, properly improved, may qualify them to pass through and exe- 
cute the several offices of civil life with advantage and reputation to themselves and 

I think I see in Franklin's plan for an English school his idea of a 
universal scheme of education applicable to such a country as ours. It 
should not be inferred that Franklin was unfriendly to higher educa- 
tion. He knew very well the practical importance of public education, 
and in providing for the general iosti uctioii of all the children of the land 
he would introduce those subjects and methods which would conduce 
to the largest public utility. We must not forget that in Franklin's 
time free public schools were not thought of,' that no minister of state, 
no legislature had formulated a scheme of general education at the ex- 
pense of the state, but that education was still an individual matter, and 
the means for pursuing it existed only in private schools. 


[For the consideration of the trustees of tlie Philadelphia Academy.] 

It is expected that every scholar, to be admitted into this school, be at least able 
to pronounce and divide the syllables in reading, and to write a legible hand. None 
to be received that are under years of age. 


Let the first class learn the English Grammar Rules, and at the same time let par- 
ticular care be taken to improve them in orthography. Perhaps the latter is best 
done by pairing the scholars, two of those nearest equal in their spelling to be put 
together. Let these strive for victory, each propounding ten words every day to 
the other to be spelled. He that spells truly most of the other's words is victor for 
that day; he that is victor most days of the month to obtain a prize, a pretty, neat 
book of some kind, useful in their future studies. This method fixes the attention 
of children extremely to the orthography of words, and makes them good spellers 
very early. It is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art in his own 
language as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound and difterent signi- 
fications, the consciousness of which defect makes some men, otherwise of good 
learning and underst^ding, averse to writing even a common letter. 

Let the pieces read by the scholars in this class be short, such as Croxall's Fables, and 
little stories. In giving the lesson let it be read to them ; let the meaning of the 
difficult words in it be explained to them, and let theiri con over by themselves be- 
fore they are called to read to the master or usher, who is to take particular care that 
they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the stops and pauses. A vo- 
cabulary of the most usual difficult words might be formed for their use with expla- 
nations, and they might daily get a few of those words and explanations by heart, 
which would a little exercise their memories, or at least thej' mignt write a number 
of them in a small book for the purpose, which would help to fix the meaning of 
those words in their minds and at the same time furnish every one with a little 
dictionary for his future use. 

'An important and, in its influence, a far-reaching exception is to be made for New 
England. See account of John Adams's plan for public education and the constitu- 
tion of Massachusetts, 1780, iu/ra, p. 173. 



To he taught reading with attention, and with proper iiiodiilatious of the voice, 
according to the sentiment and the subject. 

Some short pieces, not exceeding the length of a Spectator, to be given this claw 
fo.- lessons (iiud some of the easier Spectators would be very suitable for the jmr- 
pose). These lessons might be given every night as tasks, the scholars to study 
them against the morning. Let it then be required of them to give au acc(»unt, first, 
of the parts of sjieech and construction of one or two sentences. This will oblige 
them to recur frequently to their grannuar and lix its priucijtal rules in their mem- 
ory. Next, of the intention of the writer, or the scope of the piece, the meauiug of 
each sentence, and of every uncommon word. This would early acquaint them with 
the meaning and force of words, and give them that most necessary habit of reading 
with attention. 

The master then to read the jwece with the proper modulations of voice, due em- 
phasis, and suitable action, where action is required, and put the youth on imitating 
his manner. 

Where the author has used an expression not the best, let it be pointed out, and 
let his beauties be particularly remarked to the youth. 

Let the lessons for reading be varied, that the youth may be made acquainted with 
good style of all kinds, in prose and verse, and the proper manner of reading each kind ; 
sometimes a well-told story, a piece of a sermon, a general's speech to his soldiers, 
a speech in a tragedy, some part of a comedy, an ode, a satire, a letter, blank verso, 
Hudibrastic, heroic, etc. But let such lessons be chosen for reading as contain some 
useful instruction, whereby the understanding or murals of the youth may at the 
same time be improved. 

•It is required that they should first study and understand the lessons before they 
are put upon reading them properly, to which end each boy should have an English 
dictionary to help him over ditiiculties. When our boys read English to us we are 
apt to imagine they understand whiit they read, because we do, and because it is 
their mother tongue; but they often read as parrots speak, knowing little or nothing 
of the meaning; and it is im]iossible a reader should give the due modulation to his 
voice, and pronounce properly, unless his understanding goes before his tongue and 
makes him master of the sentiment. Accustoming boys to aloud what they do 
not first understand is the cause of those even, set tones so common among readers, 
which, when they have once got a habit of using, they fiud so difficult to correct; 
by which means among fifty readers we scarcely find a good one. For want of 
good reading pieces published with a view to influence the minds of men, for their 
own or the public benefit, lose half their force. Were there but one good reader in 
a neighborhood a public orator might be heard throughout a nation with the same 
advantages and have the same effect upon his audieucc as if they stood within the 
reach of his voice. 


To be taught speaking properly and gracefully, which is near akin to good read- 
ing, and yaturally follows it in the studies of youth. Let the scholars of this chiss 
begin with learning the elements of rhetoric from some short system, so as to be able 
to give an account of the most useful tropes and figures. Let all their bad habits of 
speaking, all offenses .against good grammar, all corrupt or foreign accents, and all 
improper phrases be pointed out to them. Short speeches from the Koman or other 
history, or from the parliamentary debates, might be got by heart, and delivered 
with the proper action, etc. Speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies 
(avoiding everything that could injure the morals of youth) might likewise b« got 
by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering or acting them, great care being taken 
to form their manner after the truest models. 


For their further impi'oveiueut, and a little to vary their studies, let them now 
begiu to rrad history, after having got by heart a short table of the principal epochs 
in chronology. They may begin with Kollin's Ancient and Kouiau histories, and 
proceed at proper hours, as they go through the snbsoquoiit classes, with the best 
histories of our own nation and colonies. Let emulation be excited among the boys 
by giving, Weekly, little prizes, or other small encouragements, to those who are 
able to give the best account of what they have read as to time^ places, names of 
persons, etc. This will make them read with attention, and imprint the history 
well in their memories. In remarking on tbe history, the master will have tine 
opportunities of instilling instruction of various kinds and improving the morals as 
Well as the understandings of youth. 

The natural and mechanic history contained in the Spectacle de la Nature niiglit 
also be begun in this class, and continued through the subsequent classes, by other 
books of the same kind ; for next to the knowledge of duty, this kind of knowledge 
is certainly the most useful as well as the most entertaining. The merchant may 
thereby be enabled better to understand many commodities in trade; the handi- 
craftsman to improve his business by new instruments, mixtures, and materials; 
and frequently hints are given for new manufactures, or neAv methods of improving 
land, that may be set on foot greatly to the advantage of a country. 


To be taught composition. Writing one's own language well is the next necessary 
accomplishment after good speaking. It is the writing master's business to take 
care that the boys make fair characters and place them straight and even in the 
line; but to form their style, and even to take care that the stops and capitals are 
properly disposed, is the part of the English master. The l)oys should be put on 
writing letters to each other on any common occurrences, and on various subjects, 
imaginary business, etc., containing little stoiics, accounts of tlieir late reading, 
what parts of authors please them, and why ; letters of congratulation, of compli- 
ment, of request, of thanks, of recommendation, of admonition, of consolation, of 
expostulation, excuse, etc. In these they shotfld be taught to express themselves 
clearly, concisely, and naturally, without affected words or high-flown phrases; all 
their letters to pass through the master's hand, who is to point out the faults, advise 
the corrections, and conimend what he tinds right. Some of the best letters pub- 
lished in our own language, as Sir William Temple's, those of Pope and his friends, 
and some others might be set before the youth as models, their beauties iiointed out 
and explained by the master, the letters themselves transcribed by the scholar. 

Dr. Johnson's Ethices Elementa, or First Principles of Morality, may now be read 
by the scholars and explained by the master, to lay a solid foundation of virtue and 
piety in their minds, and as this class continues the reading of history let them now, 
at proper hours, receive some further instruction in chronology and in that part of 
geography (from the mathematical master) which is necessary to understand the 
maps and globes. They should also be acquainted with the modern names of the 
places they find mentioned in ancient writers; the exercises of good reading and 
proper speaking still continued at suitable times. 


To improve the youth in composition they may now, besides continuing to write 
letters, begin to write little essays in prose, and sometimes in verse, not to make 
them poets, but for this reason, that nothing acquaints a lad so speedily with vari- 
ety of expression as the necessity of tindrng such words and phrases as will suit the 
measure, sound, and rhyme of verse and at the same time well express the senti- 
ment. These essays should all pass under the master's eye, who will point out their 
faults and put the writer on correcting them. Where the judgment is not ripe 

franklin's self-education. 39 

enough for formiug new essays, let the sentiment of a Kpertator be given and re- 
quired to be clothed in the scholar's own words; or the circumstances of some goo<l 
story, the scholar to find expression. Let them be put sometimes on abridging a para- 
graph of a diffuse author; sometimes on dihiting or amplifying what is wn»te more 
closely. And now let Dr. Johnson's Noetica, or First Principles of Human Knowl- 
edge, containing a logic, or art of reiisouiug, etc., be read by tbe youth, and the 
dittieulties that may occur to them be explained by the master; the reading of 
history and the exercises of good reading and just speaking still continued. 


In this class, besides continuing the studies of the preceding in history, rhetoric, 
logic, moral and natural philosophy, the best English authors may be read and ex- 
plained, iis Tillotson, Milton, Locke, Addison, Pope, Swift, the higher itapers in tbe 
Spectator and Guardian, the best translations of Homer, Virgil, and Horace, of 
Telemachus, Travels of Cyrus, etc. 

Once u year let there be public exercises in the hall, the tmsteea and citizens 
present. Then let tine gilt books be given as prices to such boys as distinguish 
themselves and excel the others in any branch of learning, making three degrees of 
comparison ; giving the best prize to him that performs the best, a less valuable one 
to iim that conies up next to the best, and another to the third, conuuendations, 
encouragement, and advice to the rest, keeping up their hopes that by industry 
they may excel another time. The names of those that obtain the prizes to be yearly 
printed in a list. 

The hours of each day are to be divided and disposed in such a manner as that 
some classes may be with the writing master, improving their hands: ttthers with 
the niathematicHl master, learning arithmetic, accounts, geography, use of tlie 
globes, drawing, mechanics, etc., while the rest are in the English school under the 
English master's care. 

Thus instructed youth will come out of this school fitted for learning any busi- 
ness, calling; or profession, except such wherein languages are required, and, 
though unacquainted with any ancient or foreign tongue, they will be masters of 
their own, Avhich is of more immediate and general use, and withal will have at- 
tained many other valuable accomplishments; the time usually spent in ac(|uiriug 
those languages, often without success, being here employed in laying such a foun- 
dation of knowledge and ability as, properly improved, may qualify them to pass 
through and execute the several ofiSces of civil life with advantage and reputation 
to themselves and country. 


As the English school in the Academy has lieen and still continues to be a subject 
of dispute and discussion among the trustees since the restitution of the charter, 
and it has been proposed that we sluuild have some regard to the (U'iginal intention 
of the founders in establishing that sch«tol, I beg leave, for your information, to lay 
before you what I know of the matter originally and what I tind on the minutes re- 
lating to it, by which it will appear how far the design of that school has been ad- 
hered to or neglected. 

Having acquired some little reputation among my fellow-citizens by projecting 
the public library in 1732, and obtaining tiie subscriptions by which it was estab- 
lished, and by proposing and promoting with success sundry other schemes of utility 
in 1749, I was encouraged to hazard another project, that of a public education for 
our youth. As in the scheme of the library I had provided only for English books, 
so in this new scheme my ideas went no further than to procure the means of a good 
English education. A number of my friends to whom I communicated the proposal 
concurred with me in these ideas ; but Mr. Allen, Mr. Francis, Mr. Peters, and some 


other persons of wealth and learning, whose subscriptions ami countenance we 
ebouhl need, being of opinion that it onght to include the learned languages, I sub- 
mitted my judgment to theirs, retaining, however, a strong ])reposse88ion in favor 
of my first plan, and resolving to preserve as mnch of it as I could, and to nourish 
the English school by every means in my power. 

Before I went about to procure subscriptions, I thought it proper to prepare the 
minds of the people by a i)amphlet, which I wrote, and printed, ami distributed 
with my newspapers, gratis. The title Avas, Proposals Kelating to the Education of 
Y'«>uth in Pennsylvania. I hai»pcn to have ]»reserved one of them; and, by reading 
a few ])assages, it will appear how much the English learning was insisted upon in 
it; and I had good reasons to know that this was a prevailing part of the motives 
for subscribing with most of the original benefactors.' I met with but few refusals 
in soliciting the subscriptions; and the sum was the more considerable, as I had put 

'That the rector be a man of good understanding, good morals, diligent and 
patient, learned in the languages and sciences, and a correct, pure speaker and 
writer of the English tongue; to have such tutors under him as shall be necessary. 

The English language might be taught by grammar; in which some of Our best 
writers, as Tillotson, Addison, Pope, Algernon Sidney, Cato's Letters, etc., should 
be classics; the styles princii)ally to be cultivated being the clear and the concise. 
Reading should also be taught, .and jironouucing properly, distinctly, emphatically; 
not with an even tone, whidi underdoes, nor a theatrical, which overdoes, natiire. 

Mr. Locke, speaking of Grammar (p. 2.52), says that, "To those, the greatest part 
of whose business in this world is to be done with their tongue, and with their jtens, 
it is convenient, if not necessary, that they should speak properly and corrt'ctly, 
whereby they may let their thoughts into other men's minds the more easily, and 
with the gr«'ater imi>ression. Ppon this account it is, tiiat any sort of speaking, so 
as will nuike him be understood, is not thought enough for a gentleman. He ought 
to study grammar among the other helpsof speaking well; but it must be the gram- 
mar of his own tongue, of the language he uses, that he may understand his own 
country speech nicely, and speak it properly, without shocking the ears of those it 
is adilressed to with solecisms and oft'ensive irregularities. And to this purposi; 
grammar is necessary; but it is tiie grammar only of their own proper tougm-s, an«l 
to those who would take pains in cultivating their language and perfecting their 
styles^ Whether all gentlemen should not do this I leave to be considered; since 
the want of ]»ro])riety and grammatical exactness is thought very mi8l)ecomijig one 
of that rank, and usually draws «in one, guilty of such faults, the imputation of 
having had a lower breeding and worse company than suit with his ([Uality. If 
this be so (as I suppose it is), it will be matter of \v(mder why young gentlemen 
are forcwl to learn the grannuars of foreign and dead languages, and are never once 
told of the grammar of their own tongues. They do not so much as know there i» 
any such thing, much less is it made their business to l)e instructed in it. Nor is 
tbeir own language ever proposed to them as worthy their care and cultivating, 
though they have daily use of it, and are not seldom in the future course of their 
lives judged of l>y their handsome or awkward way of exjtressing themselves in it. 
AVhereas t.h«" languages, whose grammars they have been so much employed in, are 
such as jirobably they shall scare*- ever speak or write; or. if upon occasion this 
should happen, they should l»f exeuse<l for the mistakes ami faults they make in it. 
Would not a Chinese, who took notice of this way of bree<ling, be apt to iitiagine 
that all our young gentlemen were designed to tte teachers and ]»rofe8sars of the 
dead languages of foreign countries, and not to Tte men of business in their own?" 

The same author adds (p. 25.5), "That if grammar ouglit to be taught at any time, 
it must be to one that can speak the language already; bowels*' eaa he be taught 
the grammar of it? This at least is evident from the practice of the wise and learned 
nations among the ancients. They made it a part of education, to cultivate their 
Q^yen, not foreign tongues. The Greeks counted all other nations barbarous, and had 

pkanklin's self-education. 41 

the contribution ou fbiH footing, tliutit was not to b«! immediate, and tbe wholu 
])aid at once, butiii parts, a fifth annually during five years. To put the ma«diine 
ill motion, twenty-fotir of the principal subscribers agreed to take upon themselves 
the trust; and a set of constitutions for their government, and for the regulation of 
the schools, were drawn up by Mr. Francis and myself, which were signed by us all, 
and printed, that the public might know what was to be expected. 

I wrote also a paper entitled. Idea of an English School, which was printed and 
afterwards annexed to Mr. Peter's Sermon, preached at the openingof the Academy. 
This paper was said to be for the consideration of the trustees; and the expectation 
of the public, that the idea might in a great measure he carried into execution, 
contributed to render the subscriptions more liberal as well as more general. I 
mention my concern in these transactions, to show the opportunity •! had of being 
well informed in the points I am relating. 

a contempt fo» their languages. And though the Greek learning grew in credit 
among the Komans toward the end of their common wealtli, yet it was the Roman 
tongue that was made the study of their youth. Their own language they were to 
make use of, and therefore it was their own language they were instructed and exer- 
cised in." And (p. 281), ''There can scarce be a greater defect," says he, "in a gen- 
tleman, than not express himself well either in writing or speaking. But yet I think 
I may ask the reader whether he doth not know a great many who live upon their 
estates, and so, with the name, should have the qualities of gentlemen, who can not 
so much as tell a story as they should, much less speak clearly and persuasively in 
any business. This I think not to be so nmch their fault as the fault of their educa- 
tion." Thus far Locke. 

Monsieur Rolliu reckons the neglect of tea<hing their own tongue a great fault in 
the French universities. He spends a great part of his first volume of Belles Let- 
tres on that subject; and lays down some excellent rules or methods of teaching 
French to Frenchmen grauiniatically. and making them masters therein, which are 
very apjtlicable to ()ur language, but too hmg to be inserted here. He practiced 
tliem on the youth under liis care with great success. 

Mr. Hutchinson (Dial., p. 297) says: "To jterfect them in the knowledge of their 
mother tongue they should learn it in the grammatical way, that they not only 
speak it ]»nrely, but be able both to correct their own idiom and afterward.s enrich 
the language on the same foundati<m." 

Dr. TumbuU, in his Observations on a Liberal Education, says (p. 262): "The 
Greeks, perhaps. ina«le more early advances in the most useful sciences tlinn any 
youth have dime since, chiefly on this account, that they studied no other language 
but their own. This, no doubt, saved them very much time ; but they applied them- 
selves carefully to the study of their own language, and were early able to speak and 
write it in the greatest perfection. The Roman youth, though they learned the 
Greek, did not neglect their own language, but studied it more carefully than we 
now do Greek and Latin, without giving ourselves any trouble about our <iwu 

Monsieur Simon, in an elegant discourse of his among the Memoirsoftlie Academy 
of Belles Lettres, at Paris, speaking of the stress the Romans laid cm purity of lan- 
guage and graceful pronunciation, adds: "May I here make a retlection on the edu- 
cation we commonly give our children ? It is very remote from the precepts I have 
mentioned. Hath the child arrived to 6 or 7 years of age he mixes with a herd of 
ill-bred boys at school, where, under the jiretext of teaching him Latin, no regard is 
had to his mother tongue. And A\ihat happens? What we see every day. A young 
gentleman.of 18 who has had this education can not read. For to articulate the 
words and join them together I do not call reading unless one can pronounce well, 
observe all proper stops, vary the voice, express the senthnent. and read with a deli- 
cate intelligence. Nor can he speak a .j«tt better. A proof of this is that he can not 
write ten lines without committing gross faults, and because he did not leam his 


The«e constitutions are upon record in your minutes; and, although the Latin and 

Greek are by them to be taught, the original idea of a complete English educa'tion 

was not forgotten, an will appear by the following extracts: 
Paye 1. — " The English tongue is to be taught grammatically, and as a language." 
Patje 4. — In reciting the qualihcation of tlie person to be appointed rector, it is 

said, " that great regard is to be had to his polite speaking, Avriting, and undei- 

stauding the English tongue." 

own language well in his early years be will never know it well. I except a few, who 
being afterwards engaged by their profession or their natural taste, cultivate their 
minds by study. And yet, even they, if they attempt to Avrite, will find by the 
labor what coippositiou costs them, what a loss it is not to have learned their lan- 
guage in proper season. Education among the Komaus was upon a quite different 
footing. Masters of rhetoric taught them early the principles, the difficulties, the 
beauties, the subtilties, the dejtths, the riches of their own language. When they 
went from these schools they were perfect masters of it; they were never at a loss 
for proper expression, and I am much deceived'if it Avas not owing to this that they 
produced such excellent works with so marvelous facility." 

Pliny, in his letter to a lady on choosing a tutor for her son, speaks of it as the 
most material thing in his education that he should have a good Latin master of 
rhetoric, and recommends Julius Genitor for his eloquent, open, and plain faculty 
of speaking. He does not advise her to a Greek master of rhetoric, though the 
Greeks were famous for that science, but to a Latin master because Latin was the 
boy's mother tongue. In the above quobition from Monsieur Simon we see what was 
the office and duty of the master of rhetoric. 

To form their stylo they should be put on writing letters to each other, making 
abstracts of what they read ; or writing tlie same things in tlieir own words; telling 
or writing stories lately read, in their own expressions. All to be revised and cor- 
rected by the tutor, who should give his reasons, explain the force and import of 
words, etc. 

This Mr. Locke recommends (Educ, ]>. 284), and says: " The writing of letters has 
so much to do in all the occurrences of human life that no gentleman can avoid show- 
ing himself in this kind of writing. Occasions will daily force him to make this use 
of his pen, which, besides the consequence that, in his affairs, the well or ill manag- 
ing it often draws after it, always lays him open to a severer examination of his 
breeding, sense, and abilities than oral discourses, whose transieut faults, dying for 
the most part with the sound tliat gives them life, and so not subject to a strict re- 
view, more easily escape observation and censure." 

He adds: "Had the methods of cdiuation been directed to their right end, one 
would have thought this so necessary a i)art could not have been neglected, whiLst 
themes and verses in Latin, of no use at all, were so constantly everywhere presse<l, 
to the racking of <;hildreu'8 invention beyond their strength, and hindering their 
cheerful progress by unnatural <iifficnlties. l$ut custom has so ordained it, and who 
dares disobey? And would it not be very unreasonable to require of a learned 
country schoohuaster (who has all the tropes and figures in Farnaby's Rhetoric at 
bis fingers' ends) to teach his scholar to express himself handsomely in English, when 
it appears to be so lif tie his business or thought that the boy's mother (despised, 'tis 
like, as illiterate for not having read a system of logic or rhetoric) outdoes him in it? 

"To speak and write correctly gives a grace and gains a favorable attention to 
what one has to say. And since 'tis English that an Englishman will have constant 
use of, that is the language he should chiefly cultivate and wherein most care should 
be taken to polisli and perfect his style. To speak or write better Latin than English 
may make a man be talked of; but he will find it more to his purpose to express him- 
self well in his own tongue, that he uses every moment, than to have the vain com- 
mendations of others lor a very insignificant quality. This I find universally neglected. 

franklin's self-education. 43 

"The tector was to have 200 poniuls a year, for which he was to he obliged to 
teach 20 boys, without any assistauce (and twenty-five more for every uslier pro- 
vided for him), the Latin and Greek languages; and at the name time in^4tructthemiu 
history, geography, chronology, logic, rhetoric, and the English tongue." 

"The rector was also, on all occasions consistent with his duty in the Latin school, 
to assist the English master in improving the youth 'under his care. " 

Page 5. — " The trustees shall, with all convenient speed, contract with any person 

nor no care taken anywhere to improve young men in their own language, that they 
may thoroughly understand and be masters of it. If anyone among us have a facility 
or purity more than ordinary in his mother tongue, it is owing to chance, or his 
genius, or anything, rather than to his education or any care of his teacher. To 
mind what English his pupil speaks or writes is below the dignity of one bred up 
among Greek and Latin, though he have but little of them himself. These are the 
learned languages, fit only for learned men to meddle with and teach ; English is the 
laugusige of the illiterate and vulgar. Though the great men among the Komaus were 
daily exercising themselves in their own language, and we find yet upon the record 
the names of orators who taught some of their Emperors Latin, though it were tbeir 
mother tongue, 'tis plain the Greeks were yet more nice in theirs. All other speech 
was barbarous to them but their own, and no foreign language appears to have been 
studied or valued amongst that learned and acute people, though it be past doubt 
that they borrowed their learning and philosophy from abroad.'' 

To the same purpose writes a person of eminent learning in a letter to Dr. Turn- 
bull. "Nothing, certainly," says he, "can be of more service to mankind than a 
right method of educating the youth, aud I should be glad to hear — to give an 
example of the great advantage it would be to the rising age and to our nation. 
When our public schools were first established the knowledge of Latin was thought 
learning ; aud he that had a tolerable skill in two or thi'ee languages, though his 
mind was not enlightened*by any I'eal knowledge, was a profound scholar. But it 
is not so at present; aud people confess that men may have obtained a perfection in 
these and yet continue deeply ignorant. The Greek education was of another kind" 
(which he describes in several particulars, and adds) : "they studied to write their 
own tongue more accurately than we do Latin and Greek. But where is English 
taught at present? Who thinks it of use to study correctly that language which he 
is so used to every day in his life, be his station ever so high or ever so insignificant.. 
It is in this the nobility aud gentry defend their country, and serve their prince in 
Parliament; in this the lawyers plead, the divines instruct, and all ranks of people 
write their letters and transact all tbeir affairs; and yet who tliinks it worth while 
his learning to write this even accurately, not to say politely? Everyone is suttered 
to form his style by chance; to imitate the first wretched model which falls in his 
way before he knows what is faulty or can relish the beauties of a just simplicity. 
Few think their children qualified for a trade till they have been whipped at a Latin 
school for five or six years to learn a little of that which they are obliged to forget, 
when in those years right education would have improved their minds and taught 
them to acquire habits of writing their own language easily under right direction; 
aud this would have been u.seful to them as long as they lived." (Introd., pp. 3-5.) 

To form their pronunciation, they may be put on making declamations, repeating 
speeches, delivering orations, etc. ; the tutor assisting at the rehearsals, teaching, 
advising, correcting their accent, etc. By pronounciatiou is here meant the proper 
modulation of the voice to suit the subject, with due emphasis, action, etc. In 
delivering a discourse in public designed to persuade, the manner, perhaps, con- 
tributes more to success than either the matter or method. Yet the two latter seem 
to engross the attention of most preachers and other public speakers, and the former 
to be almost totally neglected. 


that ofl'ers, wboui they shall judge iMost tapii])le of teaching the English tongue 
grauimatically and as a language, history, geography, thronology, logic, and oratory ; 
whieh person shall be styled the English master." 

The English master was to have 100 pounds a year, for "which he was to teach, 
without an}' assistance, forty scholars the English tongue grammatically; and at 
the same tiuie instruct them iif history, geography, chronology, logic, and oratory; 
and sixty scliolars more for every usher i)rovided for him. 

It is to he observed, in this place, that here are two distinct courses in the same 
study — that is, of the same branches of science, viz,, history, geography, chronology, 
logitf, and oratory — to be carried on at the same time, but not by the same tutor or 
master. The English master is to teach his scholars all those branches of science, 
and also the English tongue grammatically, as a language. The Latin master is to 
teach the same sciences to his boys, besides the Greek and Latin. He was also to 
assist the English master occasionally, without which, and his general care in the 
government of the schools, the giving him double salary seems not well accounted 
for. But here are plainly two tlistinct schools or courses of education provided for. 
The Latin master was not to teach the English scholars logic, rhetoric, etc. ; that 
was the duty of the English master; but he was to teach those sciences to the Latin 
scholars. We shall see, hereafter, how easily this original plan was defeated and 
departed from. 

When the constitutions were first drawn, blanks were left for the salaries and for 
the nuuiber of boys the Latin master was to teach. The first instance of partiality 
in favor of the Latin part of the institution was in giving the title of rector to the 
Latin master and no title to the English one. But the most striking instance was, 
when we met to sign, and the blanks were first to be filled up, the votes of a major- 
ity carried it to give twice as much salary to the Latin master as to the English, and 
yet require twice as much duty from the English master as from the Latin, viz, 
£200 to the Latin master to teach 20 boys, £100 to \he English master to teach 40! 
However, the trustees who voted these salaries, being tfiemselves by far the greatest 
subscribers, though not the most numerous, it was thought they had a kind of right 
to ])redoniinatc in luoney matters, and those who had wished an equal regard might 
have been shown to both schools, submitt«;d, though not without regret, andat times 
some little T!oniplainiug. which, with their not being able in nine months to find a 
proper jjcrson for English master who would undertake the office for so low a salary, 
induced the trustees at length, viz, in July, 1750, to oifer £50 more. 

Another instance of the partiality above mentioned was in the March preceding, 
when £1(X) sterling was voted to buy Latin and Greek books, maps, drafts, and in- 
struments for the use of the Academy and nothing for the English books. 

The great ]»art of the subscribers, who had the English education chiefly in view, 
were, however, soothed into a submission to these partialities, chiefly by the expec- 
tation given them by the constitution, viz, that the trustees would make it their 
])lHa8ure, and in .soiue degree their business, to visit the Academy often, to encourage 
and i'ountenance the youth, look on the students as in some measure their own chil- 
dren, treat them with fauiiliarity and affection; and, when they have behaved well, 
gone through their studies, and are to enter the world, the trustees shall zealously 
unite and make all the interest tiiat can be made to promote and establish them, 
whether in business, offices, marriages, or any other thing for their advantage, prefer- 
able to all other persons whatsoever, even of equal merit. 

'I'hese splendid promises dazzled the eyes of the pjiblic. The trustees were most of 
them the principal gentlemen of the province.. Children taught in other schools had 
no reason to expect such powerlul patronage. The subscribers had placed such en- 
tire confidence in them as to leave themselves no power of changing them if their 
conduct of the plan should be disapproved; and so, in hopes of the best, all these 
partialities were submitted to. 

franklin's self-education. 45 

Near a year passed before a proper person was found to take charge of the English 
school. At length Mr. Dove, who had been many years master of a school in Eng- 
land, and had come hither with an apparatus for giving lectures in experimental 
philosophy, was prevailed with by me, after his lectures were finished, to accept 
that employment for the salary offered, though he thought it too scanty. He had 
a good voice, read perfectly well, with proper accent and just pronunciation, and 
his method of communicating habits of the same kind to his pupils was this: 
When he gave a lesson to one of them, he always first read it to him aloud, with all the 
difiereut modulations of voice that the subject and the sense re<iuired. These the 
scholars, in studying and repeating the lesson, naturally endeavored to imitate; 
and it was really surprising to see how soon they caught his manner, which con- 
vinced me and others who frequently attended his school, that, though bad times 
and manners iu reading are, when once acquired, rarely, with diflBculty, if ever cured, 
yet, when none have been already formed, good ones are as easily learned as bad. 
In a few weeks after opening his school, the trustees were invited to hear the schol- 
ars read and recite. The parents and relations of the boys also attended. The per- 
formances were surprisingly good, and of course Avere admired and applauded; and 
the English school thereby acquired such reputation that the number of Mr. Dove's 
scholars soon amounted to upwards of ninety, which number did not diminish as 
long as he continued master, viz, upwards of two years; but, he finding the salary 
insuflBcient, and having setup a school for girls in his own house to supply the defi- 
ciency, and quitting the boys' school somewhat before the hour to attend the girls, 
the trustees disapproved of his so doing, aiul he quitted their employment, contin- 
ued his girls' school, and opened one for boys on his own account. The trustees 
provided another English master ; but, though a good man, yet not possessing the 
tj^lents of an English schoolmaster in the same perfection with Mr. Dove, the school 
diminished daily, and soon was found to have but about forty scholars left. The 
performance of the boys, in reading and speaking, were no longer so brilliant; the 
trustees of course had not the same pleastire iu hearing them, aud the monthly visi- 
tations, which had so long afforded a delightfiil entertainment to large audiences, 
became less and less Attended, and at length discontinued; and the English school 
has never since recovered its original reputation. 

Thus, by our injudiciously starving the English part of our scheme of education, 
we only saved £.50 a year, which was required as an additional salary to an ac- 
knowledged excellent English master, whick would have equaled his encourage- 
ment to that of the Latin master. I say, by saving the £50, we lost fiftj- scholars, 
which would have been £200 a year, and defeated, besides, one great. end of the in- 

In the meantime our favors wei'e showered upon the Latin part. The number of 
teachers was increased and their salaries from time to time augmented till, if I mis- 
take not, they amounted in the Avhole to more than £600 a year, though the schol- 
ars hardly ever exceeded sixty ; so that each scholar cost the funds £10 per annum, 
while he paid but £4, which was a loss of £6 on every one of them. 

The monthly visitations of the schools by the trustees having been long neglected, 
the omission Avas complained of by the parents as a breach of original promise; 
whereupon the trustees (July 11, 1755) made it A law that "they should meet on the 
second Tuesday in every month, at the Academy, to visit the schools, examine the 
scholars, hear their public exercises," etc. This good law, however, like many 
others, was not long obserAcd ; for I find by a minute of December 14, 1756, that the 
examination of the schools by the trustees had been long neglected, and it Avas 
agreed that it should thereafter be done on the first Monday in e\'ery month; and 
yet, notwithstanding this ucav rule, the neglect returned, so that we are informed, 
by another minute of January 13, 1761, "that for five mouths past there had not 
been one meeting of the trustees." In the course of fourte-n years scA-eral of the 
original trustees, who had been disposed to favor the English school, deceased, and 



others not so favora>)le were chosen to supply their places; however, it appears by 
the minutes that the remaimler had sometimes weight enough to recall the atten- 
tion of their colleagues to that school and obtain acknowledgments of the unjust 
neglect it had been treated with. Of this the following extract from the minutes is 
authentic proof, viz (Minute Book, Vol. 1, I'ebruary 8, 1763): 

"The state of the English school was taken into consideration, and it was ob- 
served that Mr. Kinnersley's time was entirely taken up in teaching little boys the 
elements of the English language (this is what it dwindled into — a school similar to 
those kept by old women who teach children their letters); and that sjteaking and 
rehearsing in public "wex'e totally disjised, to the great prejudice of the other schcd- 
ars and students, and contrary to the original design of the trustees in the forming 
of that school; and, as this was a matter of great importance, it was particularly 
recommended to be i'ully considered by their trustees at their next meeting." 

At their next nu-ctiug it was not considered, but this minute contains fnll proof 
of the fact that tlie English education had been neglected, and it contains an ac- 
knowledgment that the conduct of the English school was contrary to the original 
design of the trustees in forming it. 

In the same book of minutes we find the following of April 12, 1763: "The state of 
the English school was again taken into consideration, audit was the opinion of the 
trustees that the original design should be prosecuted, of teaching the scholars (of 
t^hat and other schools) the elegance of the English language, and giving them a 
proper pronunciation ; and tliat the old method of hearing them read and repeat in 
public should be again used. And a committee was appointed to confer with Mr. 
Kiunersley how this might best be done, as well ^s what assistance it would be rtec- 
essary to give Mr. Kiunersley to enable him to attend this necessary service, which 
was indeed the proper business of his professorship." 

In this minute we have another acknowledgment of what was the original design 
of the English school; but here are some words thrown in to countenance an inno- 
vation, which had been for some time practiced. The words are, "and the other 
scl^ools." Originally, by the constitu-tious, the rector was to teach the Latin schol- 
ars their English. The words of the constitution are: "The r^tor shall be obliged, 
without assistance of any usher, to teach twenty scholars the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages and the English tongue."' To enable him to do this, we have seen that some 
of his qualifications, indispensably required, were, his polite speaking, writing, 
and understanding the English tongue. Having these, he was enjoined, on all oc- 
casions consistent with his other duties, to assist the English master in improving 
the boys under his care; but there is not a word obliging the English master to 
teach the Lai ill boys English. However, the Latin masters, either unable to do it 
or unwilling to take the trouble, had got him up among them, and employed so 
much of his time, that this minute owns he could not, withoiit further assistance, 
attend the necessary service of his own school, which, as the minute expressly says, 
"was indeed the projTcr business of his professorship." 

Notwithstanding this good resolution of the trustees, it seems the execution of it 
was neglected; and, the public not being satisfied, they were again hannted by the 
friends of the children with tlie old complaint, that the original constitutions were 
not complied with in regard to the Englisli school. Tbeirsituation was unpleasant. 
On the ouc hand, there were still remaining some of the first trustees, who were 
friends to the scheme of English education, and these would now and then be re- 
marking that it was neglecteil, and would be moving for a reformation; the con- 
stitutions at the same time, staring the trustees in the face, gave weight to these 
remarks. On the other hand, the Latinists were combined to decry the English 
school as useless. It was without example, they said, as indeed they still say, that 
a school for teaching the vulgar tongue, and the sciences in that tongue was ever 
joined with a college, and the Latin masters were fully competent to teach the Eug- 

franklin's self-education. 47 

I will not say that the Latinista looked on every expense upon the English school 
as 8o far disabling the trustees from augmenting their salaries, and therefore regard- 
ing it with an evil eye; but, when I find the minutes constantly filled with their ap- 
plications for higher wages, I can not but see their great regard for money matters, 
and suspect a little their using their interest and influence to prevail with the trus- 
tees not to encourage that school. And, imleed, the following minute is so different 
iu spirit and sentiment from that last recited, that one can not avoid concluding 
tliat some extraordinary pains must have been taken with the trustees between the 
two meetings of April 12 and June 13, to produce a resolution so very different, which 
here follows in this minute, viz: "June 13, 1763.— Some of the parents of the chil- 
dren in the Academy having complained that their children were not taught to spealf 
and read in public, and having requested that this useful i>art of education might 
be more attended to, Mr. Kinncrsley Avas called iu, and desired to give an account 
of what was done iu this branch of his duty; and he declared that this was well 
taugfit, not only in the English school, which was more immediately under his care, 
but in the philosophy classes regularly every Monday afternoon, and as often at 
other times as his other business would permit. And it not appearing to the trus- 
tees that any more could at present be done without partialitj- and great inconven- 
ience, and that this was all that was ever proposed to be done, they did not incline 
to make any alteration, or to lay any farther burthen on Mr. Kinnersley." Not* 
here, that the English school had not for some years preceding been visited by the 
trustees. If it had, they would have known the stat« of it without making this in- 
quiry of the master. They might have judged whether the children more inune- 
diatfly umler his care were in truth well taught, without taking his word for it, as 
it appears thcj' did. But it seems ho had a merit, which, when he pleaded it, ef- 
fectually excused him. He spent his time when out of the English school in in- 
structing the philosophy classes who were of the Latin part of the institntion. 
Therefore they did not think proper to lay any further burden upon him. 

It is a little diflScult to conceive how these trustees could bring themselves to de- 
clare that "no more could be done in the English school than was then done," when 
their preceding minute declares that "the original design was teaching scholars the 
elegance of the English language and giving them a proper pronunciation ; and that 
hearing them read and repeat in public Avas the old method, and should again be 
used.'' And, certainly, the method that had been used might bo again used, if the 
trustees had thought fit to order Mr. Kinnersley to attend Jiis own school, and not 
spend his time in the philosojihy classes, where his duty did not ref|uire his attend- 
ance. What the apprehended partiality was, which the minute mentions, does not 
appear, and can not ea-stily be imagined ; and the great inconvenience of obliging him 
to attend his own school could only be depriving the LatinistA of his assistance, to 
which they had no right. 

The trustees may possibly have supposed that by this resolution they had pre- 
cluded all future attempts to trouble them with respect to their conduct of tlio 
English school. The parents indeed, despairing of any reformation, withdrew their 
children and placed them iu private schools, ot whieli several now appeared in the 
city, professing to teach what had been promised to be taught in the Academy; and 
they have since flourislied and iucrea.sed by the schidars the Academy might have 
had if it had performed its engagements. But the public was not satisfied; and we 
find, five years after, the English scliool appearing again, after five years' silence, 
haunting the trustees like an evil conscience, and reminding tbeni of their failure in 
duty. For, of tlicir meetings .January 19-26, 1768, we find these minutes: "Jan. 
19, 1768.— It having been remarked that the scho«ds sutler in f lie ]iublic esteem by 
the discontinuance of public speaking, a special meeting is to be <alled on Tuesday 
next, to consider the state of the English school, and to regulate such matters as 
may be necessary." " Jan. 26, 1768. — A special meeting. It is agreed t" gi veMr. Jon. 
EAston and Mr, Thomas Hall, at the rate of twenty-five pounds per annum each, for 


assisting Mr. Kinnersley in the English school, and taking care of the same when he 
shall he employed in teaching the students, in the philosophy classes and grammar 
school, the art of public speaking. A committee, Mr. Peters, Mr. C'oxe, and Mr. 
Duch^, with the masters, was appointed to fix rules and times for cmjiloying the 
youth in public speaking. Mr. Easton and Mr. Hall are to be paid out of a fund to 
be raised by some public performance for the benefit of the college." 

It appears from, these minutes (1) that the reputation of the Academy had suf- 
fered in the public esteem by the trustees' neglect of that school ; (2) that Mr. Kin- 
nersley, whose sole business it was to attend it, had been railed from his duty and 
emploj-ed in the philosophy classes and Ijatin grammar school, teaching the. scliolars 
tiiere the art of public speaking, which the Latinists used to boast they could teach 
themselves; (3) that the neglect for so many years of the English scholars, by this 
substraction of their msister, was now acknowledged, and juoposed remedied 
for the future by engaging two ])ersou8, Mr. Hall and Mr. Easton. at £2.'> per an- 
num, to take care of those scholars, while Mr. Kinnensley was employed among the 

Care was. however, taken liy the trustees not to be at any expense for this assist- 
ance to Mr. Kinnersley, for Hall and Easton were only to be paid out r>f the uncer- 
tain fund of nu)ney to be raised by some public performance for the benefit of the 

A committee was, however, now appointed to fix rules and times lor employing 
the youth in piiblic speaking. AVhether anything wa,s done in consequence of these 
minutes does not appear, no report of the committee respecting tbeir doings being 
to be found on the records, and the probability is that they did, as heretofore, noth- 
ing to the )>urpose. For the English school continued to decline, and the first sub- 
serpient nuMition we find made of it is the minute of March 21, 1769, when the design 
began to be ent«;rtained of abolishing it altogether, whereby the Latiuists would 
get rid of an eyesore and the trustees of what o<"casioned tliemsuch frequent trouble.^ 
The minute is this: ''The state of the English school is to be taken into considera- 
tion at next meeting, an<l wbetlier it be proper to ctmtinue it on its jtresent footing 
or not." This consideration was, however, not taken at the next meeting, at least 
nothing was c<mcluded so as to be minuted; nor do we find any further mention of 
the Engiish scho<d till the 18tli of July, when tlie following niinnte was entered, 
viz: ".\ special meeting is ajtpointed to be held on Monday next, and notice to be 
given that the design of this meeting is to consider whether this English school is 
to be longer continued." 

This special meeting was accordingly held on the 23d of July, 1769, of which date 
is the following minute and resolution, viz: ''The trustees at this meeting, as well 
as several former ones, having taken into their serious consideration the state of the 
English school, are nnauimonsly of opinion that, as. the said school is far from de- 
i'rayiiig the expense at which they now support it, and not thinking that they ought 
to layout any great part of the funds intru.sted to them on this branch of education, 
which can so easily be procured at other 8cho<ds in this city, have resolved that, 
from and after the 17th of October next, Mr. Kiuuei"sley's present salarj- do cease, 
and that from that time the said school, if he shall be inclined to keep it. shall be on 
the following footing, viz, that he shall have the Iree use of the room where he now 
teaches, and also the Avhole tuition money arising from the boys that may be taught 
by him, and that he continue professor of English and oratory and, as such, have 
the house he lives in rent free, in consideration of his giving two afternoons in the 
week, as heretofore, for the instruction of the students belonging to the college in 
public speaking, agreeable to such rules as are or shall be made for that purpose by 
the trnstees and faculty. It is further ordered by this regulation that the boys be- 
longing to his school shall bo still considered as part of the youth belonging to the 
college and under the same general government of the trustees and faculty, and such 
of his scholars as may attend the mathematical or other master having a salary from 

Vranklin's self-education. 49 

the collejre, for any part of their time, shall p;iy proportionately into the fund of the 
trustees, to be accounted for hy Mr. Kinnorsley, and deducted out of the twenty 
jionnds per quarter now paid l»y the English scholars," 

The trnstees hope this regulation may be agreeable to Mr, Kinnersley, as it pro- 
( eeds entirely from the reasons set forth above, and not from any abatement of that 
esteem which they have always retained for him during the whole course of his serv- 
ices in college. 

Upon this and some of the preceding minutes may be observed: (1) That the Eng- 
lish school having been long neglected, the scholars were s<) diminished in number 
as to be far from defraying the expense in supporting it; (2) that the instruction 
they received there, instead of a complete English education, which had been prom- 
ised to the subscribers by the original constitutions, were only such as might easily 
be procured at other schools in this city; (3) that this of the En- 
glish school, owing to neglect of duty in the trustees, was now ottered as a reason 
for demolishing it altogether, for it was easy to see that, after depriving the master 
of his salary, he could not longer attord to continue it ; (4) that if the insufficiency of 
the tuition money in the English school to pay the expense, and the ease with which 
the scholars might obtain e(inal instruction in other sclio<tls, were good reasons for 
depriving the master of his salary and destroying that school, they were equally good 
for dismissing the I^atin masters and sending their scholars to other schools, since it 
is notorious* that the tuition money of the Latin school did not pay much above a 
fourth part of the salaries of the masters, and remained in full possession of all the 
college i^roperty, without any future expense ; (n) that by their refusing any longer 
to support, instead of reforming, as they ought to have done, the English school, 
they shamefully broke through and set at naught the original constitutions, for the 
due execution of which the faith of the original trustees had been solemnly pledged 
to the public, and diverted the revenues, proceeding from much of the iirst subscrip- 
tions, to other pur^ioses than those which had been promised. Had the Assembly, 
when disposed to disfranchise the trifstees, set their foot upon this ground, their 
proceeding to declare the forfeiture would have been more jugtitiable, and it maybe 
hoped care will now be taken not to give any future Assemblj' the same handle. 

It seems, however, that this unrighteous resolve did not pass the trustees without 
a ({ualm in some of them, for at the next meeting a reconsideration was moved, 
and we find the following mintite under the date of August 1, 1769 : "The minute of liwt 
meeting relative to the English school was read, an«l after mature deliberation and 
reconsidering the same, it was voted to stand as it is, provided it should not be 
found anyway repugnant to the Jirst charter granted to the Academy, a copy of 
which was ordered to be procured out of the rolls office." 

One might have thought it natural for tlie trustees to have consulted this charter 
before they took the resolution, and not <mly the first charter, but the original con- 
stitution ; but, as it seems, they hiwi lost the instrument containing the charter, 
and, though it had b(!cn ])rinted, not one of them was furnished with a copy to 
which he might refer, it is no wonder they had forgot the constitutions made twenty 
years before, to which they did not seem to have in the least adverted. 

Probably, however, the trustees found, when they came to examine original pa- 
pers, that they could not easily get entirely rid of the English school,and so con- 
clnded to continue. For I tind in a law for premiums, minuted under the date of 
January 29, 1770, that the English and mathematical school is directed to be ex- 
amined the third Tuesday in .July, aud a premium book of the value of $1 was to be 
given to him that reads best and understands best the English grammar, etc. This 
is very well; but to keep up the old partiality in favor of the Latin school, the pre- 
mium to its boys was to be of the value of $2. In the premiums for best speaking, 
they were indeed put upon an equality. 

After reading this law for premiums, I looke<i forward to the third Tuesday in 
July with some plojising expectation of their effect on the examination required for 
that day. But I met with only this further record of the inattention of the triAteeA 
1180 ^ 


to their own resolutions and even laws, when they contain anj-thiii<T favorable to 
the English school. The minute is only this: "July, August, >September, October, 
no business done.''' 

On the 20th of November, however, I tind there was an examination of tho Latin 
school, and premiums, with pompous inscriptions, afterwards adjudged to Latin 
scholars; but I find no mention of any to the English, or that they were even exam- 
ined. Perhaps there might have been none to examine, or the school discontinued; 
for it appears by a minute of July 21 following, that the provost was desired to ad- 
vertise for a master able to teach English gramnuitically, which it seems was all the 
English master was now re(|uircd to teach, the other branches originally jiromisod 
being dropped entirely. 

In October, 1772, Mr. Kinnersley resigned his professorship, when Dr. I'eters and 
others were appointed to consider on what footing the English school shall be put 
for the future, and that a new master may be thought of, and Mr, AVilling to take 
care of the school for the present at £50 per annum. It is observable here that there 
is no mention of putting it on its original footing, and the salary is shrunk amazingly ; 
but this resignation of Mr. Kinnersley gave occasion to one testimony of the utility 
of the English professor to the institution, notwithstanding all the partiality, neg- 
lect, slights, discouragements, and injustice that school had suffered. We find it 
in the minutes of a special meeting on the 2d of February, 1773, present, Dr. Peters, 
Mr. Chew, Mr. I^awrence, Mr. AVilling, Mr. Trettel, and Mr. Inglis. and expressed in 
these strong terms : 

"The college suffers grtatly since Mr. Kinnersley left it, for want of a person to 
teach public speaking, so that the present classes have not those opportunities of 
learning to declaim and speak which have been of so much use to their predecessors, 
and have contributed greatly to raise the credit of the institution." 

Here is another confession that the Latinists were unequal to the task of teaching 
English eloquence, though on occasion the contrary i.s still asserted. 

I flatter myself, gentlemen, that it appears by this time pretty clearly from our owi\ 
minutes, that the original jdau of the English school has been departed from; that 
the subscribers to it have been disajipointed and deceived, and tlie faith of the trus- 
tees not kept with them; that the public had been freciucntly dissatisfied with the 
conduct of the trustees, and conqdaiued of it; that, by the niggardly treatment of 
good masters, they have been driven out of the school, and the scholars have followed, 
while a great loss of revenue has been sufl'ered by the Aitademy ; so that the numerous 
schools now in the city owe tlieir rise to our management, and that we might as 
well have had the best part of the tuition juouey pai<l into our treasury that now 
goes into private jtockets; that there has been a constant iHspositiou to depress the 
English school in favor of the Latin; and that every means to procurea more equit- 
able treatment has l)eeu rendered incftectual; so that no more hope remains while 
they continue to have any connection. It is, tlierefore, that wishing as much good 
to the Latinists as their system can honestly procure for them, we now demand a 
separation, and without desiring to injure tliem ; Itut, claiming au equitable portion 
of our j oint stock, we wish to execute the jdan they have so long defeated, and afford 
the public the means of a complete English education. 

I am the only one of the original trustees now living, and I am just rste)>i)ing into 
the grave myself. I tnn afraid that some part of the blame incurred by the trustees 
may be laid on me for having too easily submitted to the deviations from the con- 
stitution, and not opjiosing them with sufficient zeal and earnestness; though indeed 
my absence in foreign countries at different tiuies for nearly thirty y^ars te.nde<l 
much to weaken my influence. To nmke what amends are yet in my power, I seize 
this oiqtortunity, the I may possibly have, of bearing testimony against those 
deviations. I seem here to be surrounded ])y the ghosts of my dear departed friends, 
beckoning and urging me to use the only tcmgue now left us in demanding that jus- 
tice to our grandchildren that to our children has been denied; and I hope they 
will ifbt be sent away discontented. 

franklin's self-education. 61 

The orifjin of Latin and Greek schools amonp; the «lifforent nations of Europe is 
known to have been this : That until between three and four hundred years past tliero 
were no books in any other language; all the knowledge then contained in books 
viz, the theology, the jurisprudence, the physic, the art military, the politics, the 
mathematics and mechanics, the natural and moral philosophy, the logic and rhet- 
oric, the chemistry, the pharmacy, the aVchitecture, and every other branch of 
science, being in those languages it was, of cotirse, necessary to learn them as the 
gates through which men must pass to get at that knowledge. 

The books thcp existing were manuscript, and these consequently so dear that 
only ii few wealth j-, inclined to learning, could afford to purchase them. The com- 
mon people were not even at the pains of learuiug to read, because, after taking 
that pains, they would have nothing to read that they could understand withont 
learning the ancient languages, nor then, without money to purchase the manu- 
scripts; and so few were the learned readers sixty years after the invention of 
printing that it appears by letters still extant between the printers in 1499 that 
they could not throughout Europe find j)urchasers for more than three hundred 
copies of any ancient authors. But printing beginning now to make books cheap, 
the readers increased so much as to make it worth while to write and print books in 
the vulgar tongue. At first these were chiefly books of devotion and little histories. 
fTradually .several branches of science began to appear in the common languages, 
and at this day the whole body of science, consisting not only of trnnslatidns from 
all the valuable ancients, but of all the new modern discoveries, is to be met with 
in tliose languages, so that learning the .ancient for the purpose of acquiring knowl- 
edge is become absolutely unnecessary. 

But there is in mankind an unaccountable prejudice in favor of ancient customs 
and habitudes, which inclines to a continuance of them after the circumstances 
which formerly made them useful cease to exist. A multitude of instances might 
be given, but it may sufiBie to mention one. Hats were once thought a useful part 
of dress; they kept the head warm and screened it from the violent impression of 
the sun's ray.s, and from the rain, snow, hail, etc., though, by the way, tbis was not 
the more ancient opinion or practice. From among all the remains of anti<|uity, the 
bustoes, statues, basso-rilievos, medals, etc., which are infinite, there is no represen- 
tation of the human figure with a hat or cap on, nor any covering for the head, un- 
less it be the heail of a soldier, who has a helmet; but that is evidently not a part of 
dress for health, but as a protection from the strokes of a weapon. 

At what time hats were first introduced we know not, but in the last century 
they were universally worn throughout Europe., however, as the wear- 
ing of wigs and hair nicely dressed prevailed, the putting on of hats wa« disused 
by genteel people, lest the curious arrangements of the curls aud powdering should 
be disordered, and umbrellas began to 8upi)ly their place; yet still our considering 
the hat as a part of tlie dress continues so far to prevail that a man of fashion is not 
thought dressed withont having one, or something like one, about him which he 
carried under his arm. So that there are a multitude of the^politer people in all the 
courts in capital cities of Europe who have never, nor their fathers before them, 
worn a hat otherwise than as a chapcaa bras, though the utility of such a mode of 
wearing it is by no means jjppareut, and it is attended not only with some 
but with a degree of constant trouble. 

The still prevailing custom of having schools for teaching generally our children 
in these days the Latin and Greek languagei I consider therefore in no other light 
than as the chapeati bras of modern literature. 

Thus the time spent in that study might, it seems, be much better employed in 
the education for such a country as ours; and this wan indeed the opinion of most 
the original trustee^, 




Charitable institutions, however originally well intended and well executed at 
first, for many years are subject to be in a courst^ of time corrupted, mismanaged, 
and their funds misapplied or perverted to private purposes. Would it not be well to 
guard against these by prudent regulations respecting the choice of managers and 
establishing the power of inspecting their conduct in some permanent body, as the 
monthly or quarterly meeting? 

Would it not be more respectable for the institution if the appearance of making 
a profit of thr. labor of orphans were avoided and the dependence for funds to be 
wholly on charitable contributions? If this should be concluded, then it maybe 
proper to open an account with each orphan on admission, the orphans to have 
credit for any subsistence brought in with them, and for the profit made of it and 
of their labor, and made debtors for their maintenance and education ; and at their 
discbarge on coming of ;ige to be paid the balance, if any, in their favor, or remain 
debtors for the balance, if against them, which they may be exhorted to pay, if ever 
able, but not to be compelled. Such as receive a balance may be exhorted to give 
back a part in charity to the institution that has taken such kind care of them, or 
at least to remember it faAorably, if hereafter God should bless them with ability, 
either in benefaction while living, or a legacy on decease. The orphans, when dis- 
charged, to receive, besides decent clothing and some money, a certificate of their 
good behavior, if such it has been, as a recommendation; and the managers of the 
institution should still consider them as their children, so far as to counsel them in 
their afl'airs, encourage and promote them in their business, watch over and kindly 
admonish theui when in danger of misconduct. 

At 33 Franklin is continuing his self-education by his researches in 
natural history. In his Proposals for the Education of Youth, he ad- 
vises that " now and then excursions be made to the neighboring plan- 
tations of the best farmers, their methods observed and reasoned upon 
for the information of youth;" " that natural history will also afford 
opportunities of introducing many observations," etc. 

Franklin himself was a great observer, and like all great men who 
have advanced science, he made his observations with the assistance of 
very simple and inexi)ensive instruments. There is in the possession 
of the University of Pennsylvania and of the Franklin Institute, some 
portions of his electrical apparatus, the simplicity of which surprises 
the student in the modern electrical laboratory and leads him almost to 
underrate the services of Franklin to science. Franklin's self-education 
taught him to make use of the phenomena in nature as he made use of 
the labors of other men, to swell the mass of his own knowledge. 

He illustrates this practical method of scientific investigation in his 
account of the ants, told by Prof. Kalni; how he put an earthen 
pot filled with molasses into a closet, into which the ants soon found 
their way and began devouring the molasses. Franklin, observing 
this, removed the pot and suspended it by a string to a nail in the ceil 
ing of the room, leaving a single ant in tlie pot. When its hunger wf|,s 
satisfied it tried to go home, and after many efforts it found its way up 
the string, across the ceiling to the wall, and to th<! ground, and by 
half an hour Franklin saw a swarm of ants issuing from the ground, 


climbing the wall, crossing the ceiling, creei)ing down the string, and 
eating the molasses, one line coming and one line going, until the mo- 
lasses was all eaten up. This little story, which some of us remember 
in our schoolbooks, illustrates Franklin's methods of investigating tlie 
habits of insects, as simple as his experiment with the kite. In his 
scheme for education he makes no provision for elaborate pliysical ap- 
paratus, there is no reference to laboratories, and it seems as if his 
ideas were deficient in some of the essentials of education in modern 
times. This hasty conclusion is corrected when we reflect on the educa- 
tion which Franklin himself received and was making all through lifej 
he knew nothing of elaborate physical apparatus; nature was his labo- 
ratory, observation and experience were his teachers, and he relied 
upon these as the best means for the education of others. 'Ambition 
stimulated him to gain knowledge and He concluded that it would stim- 
ulate others. 

It has sometimes been asked whether the elaborate apparatus in 
modern education does not weigh heavily in the hands of youth, and 
whether many of them are able to see the principles on account of the 

The utilitarian ends which Franklin proposed are generally traceable 
to his own experience. His loss from the bad bookkeeping of the Deputy 
Postmaster-General of the Colonies led him to "mention it as a lesson 
to those young men who may be employed in managing affiiirs for others 
that they should always render accounts and make remittances with 
great clearness and punctuality. The character of observing such a 
conduct is the most powerful of recommendations to new employments 
and increase of business." A word frequently used by Franklin is 
"business." It should be remembered that he viewed education from 
the vantage ground of the man of affairs who had never received the 
conventional training of the schools. He saw in industry and business 
the chief occupation of the mass of the people. His idea of schools was 
that they should contribute to the advantage of this industry and this 
business.' He would make the transitions from school life to the life 
of business easy and natural, and his chief defense for his plan for an 
English sehool was that there such a foundation of knowledge and 
ability would be laid as properly improved would qualify boys to "pass 
through and execute the several offices of civil life with advantage and 
reputation to themselves and country ."^ It is not to be understood 
that by the offices of civil life Franklin meant merely political oflBces. 
He uses the term "civil life" comprehensively, meaning the several 
occupations of the citizen. Had he meant political preferment, he would 
have used the phrase " public affairs." 

'The Wharton School of Finance and Economy in the University of Pennsylvania 
■was founded on this idea. (See the special chapter on that school, and also Mr. 
Wharton's plan infra. 

^The School of American History and Institutions in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania was founded with this idea as a basis. (See account of it, infra.) 


Franklin conceived of the school as a foundation for improvement in 
the pupil by the pupil himself. His owu life was a continuous self- 
education; practical wisdom was his aim. We lind nowhere in his 
writings that modern phrase "tiie completion of educatioin" he makes 
no provision for any such limitation or standstill. 

Franklin was a native of Boston, and he never forgot his native town. 
Once in ten years he revisited that beloved spot and refreshed himself 
with the renewal of ancient acquaintance. He frequently refers to his 
New England training, and it usually stood him in good stead. He 

I had, on the Whole, abiluttant I'easoii to be satisfied with my being established iu 
Pennsylvania. There were, howevei-, two things that I regretted, there being no 
provision for defense nor for the complete education of youth, no militia, nor any 
college. I therel'ore, in 1743, drew u.p a proposal for establishing an Academy,' and 
at that time thinking the Rev. Mr. Peters, who was at that time out of employ, a lit 
person to superintend such an institution, I communicated the project to him, but 
he having more ])rofitable views iu the service of the proprietors, which succeeded, 
declined the undertaking, and not knowing another at that time suitable for such a 
trust, I let the scheme lie awhile dormant. I wiccceeded better the next year, 1744, 
in proposing and establishing a Plulosophical Society, * 

'See the proposals, p. 58 et 'acq. ; also the early charters of the University. 



[This paper appears to coDtaiu the first suggeetiou, in any public forui, for au Americau Philosophical 


Philadelphia, May 14, 174S. 

The English are possessed of a long tract of continent, from Nova Scotia to Geor- 
gia, extending north and south through different cliaiates, having different soils, 
producing different plants, mines, and minerals, and capable of different improve- 
ments, manufactures, etc. 

The first drudgery of settling new colonies, which contines the attention of people 
to mere necessaries, is now pretty well over; and there are many in every province 
iu circumstauceb that set them at ease, and afford leisure to cultivate the finer arts 
and improve the common stock of knowledge. To such of these who are men of 
speculation many hints must from time to time arise, many observations occur, 
which, if well examined, pursued, and improved, might produce discoveries to the 
advantage of jjome or all of the British plantations or to the benefit of mankind in 
geueral. •■ 

But as from the extent of the country such persons are widely separated, and 
selcb^m can see and converse or be acqimiuted witli each other, so that many useful 
particulars remain uncommunicated, die Avith the discoverers, and are lost to man- 
kind; it is, to remedy this inconvenience for the future jiroposed — 

That one society be formed of virtuosi or ingenious men residing in the several 
colonies, to be called The American Philosophical Society, w ho are to maintain a 
constant correspondence. 

That Philadelphia, being the city nearest the center of the continent colonies, 
communicating witli all of them northward and southward by post, and with all the 
islands by sea, and having the advantage of a good, growing library, be the center 
of the Society. 

That at Philadelphia there be always at least seven members, viz, a physician, a 
botanist, a mathematician, a chemist, a mechanician, a geographer, and a geueral 
natural philosopher, besides a president, treasurer, and secretary. 

That these members meet once a month or oftener, at their own expense, to com- 
municate to each other their observations and experiments; to receive, read, and 

franklin's self-education. 55 

Meanwhile the prospects of war delayed acadeinie matters. His 
activity in the pnblic defense having pleased the governor and council, 
he remarks with evident pride: 

They took me into confidence, and I was consulted by them in every measure, 
where their concurrence was thought useful to the association. Failing to obtain 

consider such letters, comuiunicatious, or <|neries as shall be sent from distant 
members; to direct the disb\irsiiig of copies of such couununications as are valuable 
to other distant members, in order to procure their sentiments thereupon. 

That the subjects of the correspondence be : All new-discovered j)lauts, herbs, trees, 
roots, their virtues, uses, etc. ; methods of propagating them and making such as 
.are useful, but particular to some plantations, more general; improvements of vege- 
table juices, as ciders, wines, etc.; new methods of curing or preventing diseases ; 
ail new-discovered fossils in different countries, as mines, minerals, and quarries; 
new and useful improvements in any branch of mathematics; new discoveries in 
chemistry, such as improvements in distillation, brewing, and assaying of ores; new 
mechanical inventions for saving labor, as mills and carriages, and for raising and 
conveying of water, draining of meadows, etc. ; all new arts, trades, and manufac- 
tures that may be proposed or thought of; surveys, maps, and charts of particular 
parts of the seacoasts or inland countries; course and junction of rivers and grerit 
r<»ad8, situation of lakes and mountains, nature of the soil and productions; new 
methods of improving the l)reed of useful animals; introducing other sorts from 
foreign coustFJ^s; new improvements in planting, gardening, and clearing land; 
»3idiil] pliiUwophical experiments that' let light into the nature of things, tend to 
aucrease the power of luaj} over and multiply the conveniences or pleasures of life. 

I^hat a correspondence alrea4y begun by some intended members shall be kept up 
Ijy this Society with the Royal Society of London and with the Dublin Society. 

That evei'y member shall have abstracts sent him quarterly of everything valuable 
'communicated to the Society's secretary at Philadelphia, free of all charge, except 
the yearly payment hereafter mentioned. 

That, by permission of the Postmaster-General, sucli communications pass between 
the secretary of the Society and the members, postage free. 

That, for defraying the expense of such experiments as the Society shall judge 
•proper to cause to be made, and other contingent charges for the comm<m good, 
'every member send a piece of eight per annum to the treasurer, at Philadelphia, to 
ilbrm a common stock, to be disbursed by order of the President, with the consent of 
tlie majority of the members that can ccmveniently be consulted thereupon, to such 
persons and places where and by whom the experiments are t<j be made, and other- 
■wise as there shall be occasion, of which disbursements an exact account shall be 
kept and communicated yearly to every member. 

That, at the first meetings of the members at Philadelphia, such rules be formed 
for regulating their meetings and transactions for the general benefit as shall be 
convenient and necessary, to be afterwards changetl and improved as there shall be 
occasion, wherein due regard is to be had to the advice of distant members. 

That, at the'end of every year, collections shall be made and iirinted of such ex- 
periments, discoveries, and improvements as may be thought of public advantage, 
and that every member have a copy sent him. 

That the business and duty of the .secretary be to receive all letters inUinded for 
the Society and lay them before the president and members at their meetings; to 
abstract, correct, and methodize such papers as requireit and as he shall l>e directed 
to do by the president, after they have been considered, debated, and digested in 
the Society; to enter copies thereof in the Society's books, and make out copies for 
distant members; to answer their Icttei-s by direction of the president, and keep 
records of all material transactions of the Society. 

Benjamin P'ranklin, the writer of this proposal, offers himself to serve the Society 
as their secretary till they shall be provided with one more capable. 


the cooperation of the midtlle colonies, and calling in the aid of religion, I proposed 
to them the ]iruclaiiiiiug a fast to promote reformation, and implore the blessing of 
Heaven on our undertaking. They embraced the motion ; but, as it was the first fast 
ever thought of in the province, the 8e<!retary had no precedent from which to draw 
the proclamation. My education in New England, where a fast is proclaimed every 
year, was here of some advantage. I drew it in the accustomed style; it was trans- 
lated into German. ])rinted in both languages, and divulged through the province. 
This gave the clergy of the difterent sects an oi)]»ortuuity of intluenciug their con- 
gregations to join iu the association, and it wouhl probably have been general among 
all but Quakei"s if peace had not soon intervened. 

Franklin's confession tbat he jn'oposed a fast because of tlie obvious 
advantages to be derived from it is a comment on his theory of educa- 
tion. Ha<i any other equal means of winning public favor been sug- 
gested by his education in J^ew England, he would have weighed the 
relative advantages and given his decision accordingly, for he tells us 
that he was accustomed, when considering two courses of action, to set 
down in columns the pros and the cons of the question.' Franklin's 
motion years later for prayers iu Congress was doubtless made to secure 
the advantage which he supposed would be attached to them in the 
public mind. 

Peace being concludg^ [he says], and the association business therefore at an end, 
I turned my thoughts again to the affair of establishing an academy. The lirst step 
I took was to associate in the design a number of active friends, of whom the Junto 
furnished a good part; the next was to write and ])ublish a pamphlet, entitled, 
" Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania." This I distributed 
among the principal inhabitants gratis, and as soon as I could suppose their minds 
a little prepared by the perusal of it, I set on foot a subscription for opening and 
supporting an academy ; it was to be paid in quotas yearly for five years. By so 
dividing it I Judged the subscription might be larger, and I believe it was so, 
amounting to no less, if J remember right, than 5,000 pounds. 

In the introduction to these proposals I stated their publication, not as an act of 
mine, but of aome ptiblick-spirited gentlemeti, avoiding as much as I could, according 
to my usual rule, the presenting myself to the public as the author of any scheme 
for their benefit. 

The subscribers, to carry the project into immediate execution, chose out of their 
number twenty-four trustees and appointed Mr. Francis, then attorney-general, and 
myself to draw np constitutions for the" government of the academy, which being 
done and signed a house was hired, masters engaged, and the schools opened, 1 
think, in ^he same year, 1749. ' 

The scholars increasing fast, the house was soon found too small, and we were 
looking out for a piece of ground properly situated, with intention to build, when 
Providence threw into our way a large house ready l»uilt which, with a few altera- 
tions, might well serve our purpose. This was the building before mentioned, erected 
by the hearers of Mr. Whitefield, and was obtained for us in the following manner: 

It is to be noted that the contribntions to this building, being made by the people 
of different sects, care was taken in the uomiuation of trustees, iu whom the building 
and ground were to be vested, that a predominancy should not bo given to any sect 
lest in time tbat predominancy migiit be a means of ajjpropriating the whole to the 
use of such sect, contrary to the original intention. It was, therefore, that one of 

'For a discnosion of this snbject see Judge Pennypacker's :-hapter on The Univer- 
aity in its Relations to the State of Pennsylvania, infra. 

franklin's self-education. 57 

each sect was appointed, viz, one ChurcLi-<»f-Kn<;lau«l niau, one Presbyterian, one 
Kaptist, one Moravian, etc. ; tliose in case of vacancy by death wer<! to till it by 
election from among the coutribntors. The Moravian happened not to please his 
colleagnes, aad on his death they resolved to have no other of that sect. The diffi- 
culty then was how to avoid liavinjj two of some other sect by means of the new 

Several persons were named, and for that reason not agreed to. At length one 
mentioned me with the observation that 1 was merely an honest man, and of no sect 
at all, which prevailed with them to choose me. The enthusiasm which existed 
when the house was built had long since abated, and its trustees had not been able 
to procure fresh contributions for paying the gionnd rent and ilischarging some 
other debts the building had occasioned, which embarrassed them greatly. Being 
now a member of both sets of trustees, tliat for the building and that for the aca«lemy, 
I had a good opportunity of negotiating with both, and brought them finally to an 
agreement, by which the trustees for the building were to cede it to those of the 
academy, the latter nndertaking to discharge the debt, to keep forever open in the 
building a large hall for occasional preachers according to the original intention and 
maintain a tree school for the instruction of poor children. Writings were ac- 
cordingly drawn and on paying the debts, the trustees of the aciidemy were put into 
possession of the; and by dividing the great and lofty hall into stories, and 
different rooms above and below for the several schools, and purchasing some addi- 
tional gronnd the whole was soon made fit for our purpose, and the scholars re- 
moved into the building. * » * The trustees of the academy after awhile were 
incorporated by a charter from the governor; their funds were increased by contri- 
butions in Britain and grants of land from the proprietaries, to which the Assembly 
has since made considerable addition; and thus we established the present Univer- 
versity of Philadelphia.' I have been continued one of its trustees from the begin- 
ning, now nearly forty years, and have had the very great pleasure of seeing a num- 
bei of tho youth who have received their education in it distinguished by their im- 
proved abilities, serviceable in public stations, and ornaments to their country.* 

' This institution became the University of Pennsylvania in 1779. (See Act of Nov. 
27, 1779, erecting the University of Pennsylvania, p. 83.) 

^The narrative is broken here in order to present the text of important documents, 
to several of which P^anklin was a party, — in the early history of the University; it 
is resumed on page 95. 






It has long been regretted as a misfortune to the youth of iMs pioviuce, that w ■ 
have no Academy, in whifh they might receive the accompl]shm«uts of a rcgiilai 
education. The following paper of hints towards fonning a jilau for that piu^poiii', 
is so far approved by some public-spirited gentlemen, to whom it has Ijeeu privately 
communicated, that they have directed a number of copies to be made by the press, 
and properly distributed, in order to obtain the sentiments and advice of men of 
learning, understanding, and experience in these matters; and have determined to 
use their interest and best endeavors to have the scheme, when completed, carried 
gradually into execution ; in which they have reason to believe they shall have the 
heart J' concurrence and assistance of many, who are well-wishers to their country. 
Those, who incline to favor the design with their advice, either as to the parts of 
learning to be taught, the order of study, the method of teaching, the economy of 
the school, or any other matter of importance to the success of the undertaking, are 
desired to coiunuinicate their sentiments as soon as may be, by letter, directed to 
B. Franklin, Printer, iu Philadelphia. 

The good education of youth has been esteemed by wise men iu all 
ages, an the surest foundation of the happiness both of private families 
and of commonwealths. Almost all governments have therefore made 
it a principal object of their attention, to establish and endow with 
proper revenues such seminaries of learning, as might .supply the suc- 
ceeding age with men qualified to serve the public with honor to them- 
selves and to their country. 

Many of the first settlers of these provinces were men wlio had re- 
ceived a good education in Europe; and to their wisdom and good man- 
agement we owe m\u;h of our present prosi^erity. But their hands were 
full, and they could not do all things. The present race are not thought' 
to be generally of eciual ability; for, though the Ameri<;an youth are 
allowed not to want capacity, yet the best capacities require cultiva- 
tion; it Being truly with them, as with the best ground, which, unles- 
well tilled and sowed with profitable .seed, produces only ranker weeds. 

That we may obtain the advantages arising from an increase of knowl- 
edge, and prevent, as much as may be, the mischievous consequence- 
that would attend a general ignorance among u.s, the following hints 
are offered towards forming a plan for the education of the youth of 
Pennsylvania, viz : 

It is j>roposed, 

That some jjersons of leisure and public spirit apply for a charter, by 

impoktant documents relating to the university. 59 

which they may be incorporated, with jwwer to erect au Academy for 

tiie education of youth, to goA^ern the same, provide masters, make rules, 
receive donations, jmrchase hinds, and to a<ld to tlieir number, from 
time to time, sueli other persons as they shall Judge suitable. 

That the members of the corporation make it their jdeasure, and in 
some degree their business, to visit the Academy often, encourage and 
countenance the youth, countenance and avSsist the masters, and by all 
means in their power advance the usefulness and reputation of the 
design; that they look on the students as in some sort their children, 
treat them with familiarity and aft'ection, aijd when they have behaved 
well, and gone through their studies, and are to enter the world, zeal- 
ously unite, and uiake all the interest that can be made to establish 
them, whether in business, oflflces, marriages, or any other thing for 
their advantage, preferably to all other persons whatsoever, even of 
6(1 ual merit. 

And if men may, and frequently do, catch such a taste for cidtivat- 
ing flowers, for planting, grafting, inoculating, and the like, as to 
despise all other anmsements for their sake, why may not we expect 
they should acquire a relish for that more u.seful cultiue of young 
miflds. Thomson says: 

'Tis joy to see the human Itlossoms blow, 
When inlaut reason grows apace, au<l calls. 
For the kind hand of an assiduous care. 
Delightful task ! to rear the tender thought. 
To teach the young idea how to shoot; 
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind. 
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix 
The generous purpose in the glowing breast. 

That a house bo provided for the Academy, if nat in the to\ni, not 
many miles from it; the situation high and dry, and, if it may be, not 
far from a river, having a garden, orchard, meadow, and a field or two. 

That the house be furnished with a library if in the country, (if in 
the town, the town libraries may serve), with maps of all countries, 
globes, some mathematical instruments, an ai)pjuatus for experiments 
in natural philosophy, and for mechanics; ])rints, of all kinds, pros- 
pects, buildings, and machines. 

That the Rector be a man of good understanding, good morals, dili- 
gent and patient, learned in the languages and sciences, and a correct, 
pure speaker and writer of the English tongue; to have such tutors 
under him as shall be necessary. 

That the boarding scholars diet together, plainly, temi)erately, and 

That to keep them in health, and to strengthen and render active 
their bodies, they be frequently exercised in ninning, leaping, wrestling 
and swimming. 

That they have peculiar habits to distinguish them from other youth^ 


if the Academy be in or neai' the town ; for this, among: other reasons, 
that their behavior may be the better observed. 

As to their studies, it would be well if they could be taught every 
thing that is usefnl, and every thing that is ornamental. But art is 
long, and their time is short. It is therefore proposed, that they learn 
those things that are likely to be most useful and most ornamental; re- 
gard being had to the several jirofessions for which they are intended. 

All should be taught to write a fair hand, and swift, as that is useful 
to all. And with it may be learned something of drawing, by imitation 
of prints, and some of the first principles of perspective. 

Arithmetic, accounts, and some of the first principles of geometry and 

The English language might be taught by grammar; in which some 
of our best writers, as Tillotson, Addison, Poi)e, Algernon, Sidney, 
Cato's Letters, «S:c., should be classics; the styles principally to be cul- 
tivated being the clear and the concise. Eeading should also be 
taught, and pronouncing properly, distinctly, emphatically; not with an 
even tone, which underdoes, nor a theatrical, which over-does nature. 

To form their style, they should be put on writing letters to each other, 
making abstracts of what they read, or writing the same things in their 
own words; telling or writing stories lately read, in tbeir own expres- 
sions. All to be revised and corrected by the tutor, who should give 
his reasons, and explain the force and import of words. 

To form their pronunciations, they may be put on making declama- 
tions, repeating speeches, and delivering orations; the tutor assisting 
at the rehearsals, teaching, advising, and correcting their accent. 

But If History be made a constant part of their reading, such as 
the translation of the Greek and Koman historians, and the modern 
histories of ancient Greece and Rome, may not almost all kinds of use- 
ful knowledge be that way introduced to advantage, and with pleasure 
to the student ? As 

Geography, by reading with maps, and being required to pointout the 
places where the greatest actions were done, to give their old and new 
names, with the bounds, situation, and extent of the countries concerned. 

Chronology, by the help of Helvicus or some other writer of the 
kind, who shall enable them to tell when those events happened, what 
princes were contemporaries, and what statesi)r famous men flourished 
about that time. The several principal epochs to be first well fixed in 
their memories. 

Ancient Customs, religious and civil, being frequently mentioned in 
history, will give occasion for explaining them; in which the prints of 
medals, baeso-rilievos, and ancient monuments will greatly assist. 

Morality, by descanting and making continual observations on the 
causes of the rise and fall of any man's character, fortune, and power, 
mentioned in history; the advantages of temperance, order, frugality, 
industry, and perseverance. Indeed, the general natural tendency of 


reading good history must be, to fix in the minds of the youth deep im- 
pressions of the beauty and usefulness of virtue of all kinds, public 
spirit, and fortitude. 

History will show the wonderful effects of oratory, in governing, 
turning, and leading great bodies of mankind, armies, cities, nations. 
When the minds of youth are struck with admiration at this, then is the 
time to give them the principles of that art, which they will study with 
taste and application. Then they may be made acquainted with the 
bestmodelsamongthe ancients, their beauties beingparticnlarly pointed 
out to them. Modern political oratory being chiefly performed by the 
pen and press, its advantages over the ancients in some respects are to 
be shown; as that its effiects are more extensive, and more lasting. 

History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the neces- 
sity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public ; the advantage 
of a religious character among private persons; the mischief of super- 
stition, and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, 
ancient or mx)dern. 

History will also givje occasion to expatiate on the advantage of civil 
orders and constitutions; how men and their properties are protected 
by joining in societies and establishing government; their industry 
encouraged and rewardeii, arts invented, and life made more comfort- 
able; che advantages of liberty, mischiefs of licentiousness, benefits 
arising from good laws and a due execution of justice. Thus may the 
first principles of sound politics be fixed in the minds of youth. 

On historical occasions, questions of right and wrong, justice and 
injustice, will naturally arise, and may be put to youth, which tliey 
may debate in conversation and in writing. Wlien they ardently desire 
victory, for the sake of the praise attending it, tliey will begin to feel 
t)ie want, and be sensible of the use, of logic, or the art of reasoning 
to discover truth, and of arguing to defend it, and convince adversa- 
ries. This would be the time to acquaint them with the principles of 
that art. Grotius, Puffendorff", and some other writers of the same 
kind, may be used on these occasions to decide their disputes. Public 
disputes warm the imagination, whet the industry, and strengthen the 
natural abilities. 

When youth are told, that the great men, whose lives and actions 
they read in history, spoke two of the best languages that ever were, 
the most expressive, copious, beautiful ; and that the finest writings, 
the most correct compositions, the most perfect productions of human 
wit and Avisdom, are in those languages, which have endured for ages, 
and will endure while there are men; that no translation can do them 
juvstice, or give the pleasure found in reading the originals; that those 
languages contain all science; that one of them is become almost uni- 
versal, being the language of learned men in all countries; and that 
to understand them is a distinguishing ornament; they maybe thereby 
made desirous of learning those languages, aud their industry sharp 


eiied in the acquisition of them. All iuteuded for divinity, should be 
taught the Latin and Greek; for physic, the Latin, Greek, and French; 
for law, the Latin and French; merchants, the French, German, and 
Spanish; and, though all shouhl not be compelled to learn Latin, 
Greek, or the modern foreign languages, yet none that have an ardent 
desire to learu them should he refused; their English, arithmetic, and 
other studies absolutely necessary, being at the same time not neg- 

If the new Universal History were also read, it would give a con- 
nected idea of human aftairs, so far as it goes, which should be follow-ed 
by the best modern histories, particularly of our mother country ; then 
of these colonies; which shonld be accompanied with observations on 
their rise, increase, use to Great Britain, encouragements and discour- 
agements, the means to make them flourish, and secure their liberties. 

With the history of men, times, and nations, should be read at proper 
hours or days, some of the best histories of nature, which would not 
only be delightful to youth, and furnish them with matter for their let- 
ters, as well as other history, but would afterwards be of great use to 
them, whether they are merchants, handicrafts, or divines; enabling 
the first the better to understand many commodities and drugs, the 
second to improve his trade or handicraft by new mixtures and mate- 
rials, and the last to adorn his discourses by beautiful comparis(ms, and 
strengthen them by new proofs of divine providence. The conversation 
of all will be improved by it, as occasions frequently occur of making 
natural observations, which are instructive, agreeable, and entertaining 
in almost all companies. Natural history will also afibrd opportunities 
of introducing many observations, relating to the preservation of health, 
which may be afterwards of great use. Arbiithnot on Air and Aliment, 
Sanctorious on Perspiration, Lemery on Foods, and some others, may 
now be read, and a very little explanation will make them sufficiently 
intelligible to youth. 

While they are reading natural history, might not a little gardening, 
planting, grafting, and inoculating, be taught and ])racticed; and now 
and then excursions made to the neighboring plantations of the best 
farmers, their methods observed and reasoned upon for the information 
of youth? The improvenu'nt of agriculture being useful to all, and 
skill in it no disparagement to any. 

The history of commerce, of the invention of arts, rise of manufac- 
ture, progress of trade, change of its seats, with the reasons and causes, 
may also be made entertaining to youth, and will be useful to all. And 
this, with the accounts in other history of the prodigious force and 
effect of engines and machines used in war will naturally introduce a 
desire to be instructed in mechanics, and to be informed of the prin- 
ciples of that art by which weak men perform such wonders, labor is 
saved, and mauufactures expedited. This will be the time tp pjiow 

^ ^ 

MeJ ^^oi/^^Tny (^^ic/C^ a^3x:^h^^ '/^t/utJ a^ <^^^«4i_,^ 

c/r?^ a^wr-t:^eie'nct^ 

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A- ■ ^» 




them prints of ancient and modern mai'hines; to explain them, and 
let them be copied, and to give lectures in mechanical philosophy. 

With the whole should be constantly inculcat<'d and cultivated that 
benignityof mind, which shows itself in searching for and seizing every 
opportunity to serve and to oblige; and is the foundation of what is 
called good breeding; highly useful to the possessor, and most agree- 
able to all. 

The idea of what is true merit should also be often presented to 
youth, explained and impressed on their minds, as consisting in an in- 
clination, joined with an ability, to serve mankind, one's country, 
friends, and family; which ability is, with the blessing of Go<l, to be 
acquired or greatly increased by true learning; and should, indeed, be 
the great aim and end of all learn itig. 



As ^Nothing can more efl'ectually contribute to the Cultivation & Im- 
provement of a Country, the Wisdom, Kiches, and Strength, Virtue 
and Piety, the Welfare and Happiness of a People, than a proper 
Education of Youth, by forming their Manners, imbuing their tender 
Winds with Principles of Rectitude and Morality, instructing them 
in the dead & living Languages, particularly their Mother-Tongue, and 
all useful Branches of liberal Arts and Science, 

For attaining these great & important Advantages, so far as the 
present State of our infant Country will admit, and laying a Founda- 
tion for Posterity to erect a Seminary of Learning more extensive 
and suitable to their future Circumstances, An Academy for teaching 
the Latin & Greek Languages, the English Tongue, gramatically and 
as a Language, the most useful living foreign Languages, French, 
German and Spanish: As Matters of Erudition naturally flowing from 
the Languages, History, Geography, Chronology, Logick and Rhetorick ; 
Writing, Arithmetick, Algebra, the several Brandies of the Mathe 
maticks, ]^ratural & Mechanick Philosophy, Drawing in Perspective, 
and every other useful Part of Learning and Knowledge, shall be set 
up, nmintained, and have Continuance, in the City of Philadelphia in 
Planner following Twenty-four Persons, to wit, James Logan, Thomas 
Lawrence, William Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, William Masters, 
Lloyd Zachery, Samuel McCall .lun., Joseph Turner, Benjamin Frank- 
lin, Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Robert Strettell, Philip Syng, 
Charles Willing, Phineas Bond, Richard Peters, Abraham Taylor, 
Thomas Bond, Thomas llopkinson, William Plumsted, Joshua Maddox, 
Thomas Wliite & William Coleman, 


All of the City of Philadelphia, shall be Trustees, to begin, and 
cany into Execution, this good and pious Undertaking; who shall not 
for any Services, by them as Trustees performed, claim or receive any 
Reward or Compensation. Which Number shall always be continued, 
but never exceeded upon any Motive Avhatever. 

When any Trustee .shall remove his Habitation far li-om the City of 
Philadelphia, reside beyond Sea, or die, the remaining Tiustees shall, 
with all convenient Speed, proceed to elect another, residing in or near 
the City, to fill the Place of the absenting or deceased Person. 

The Trustees shall have general Conventions once in every Month, 
and may, on special Occasions, meet at other Times on IS^otice, at some 
convenient Place within the City of Philadelphia, to transact the Bus- 
iness incumbent on them, and shall, in the Gazette, advertise the Time 
and Place of their general Conventions. 

Nothing shall be transacted by the Trustees, or under their Authority 
alone, unless the same be voted by a Majority of their whole Number, 
if at a general Convention, and if at a special Meeting, by the like 
Majority, upon personal Notice given to each Trustee, at least one day 
before, to attend. 

The Trustees shall, at their first Meeting, elect a President for one 
Year, whose particular Duty it shall be when present, to regulate their 
Debates, and state the proper Questions arising from them, and to 
order Notices to be given, of the Times and Places of their special Con- 
ventions. And the like Election shall be annually made, at their first 
Meeting, after the Exx)iration of each Year. 

The Trustees shall annually choose one of their own Members for a 
Treasurer, who shall receive all Donations and Money due to them, and 
disburse and lay out the same, according to their Orders, and at the 
End of each Year, pay the Sum remaining in his H^pds to his sncc^tsr 

All Contracts and Assurances for Payment of Money to them, shall 
be made in the Name of the Treasurer for the Time being, and declared 
to be in Trust for the Use of the Trustees. 

The Trustees may appoint a Clerk, whose Duty in particular it shall 
be, to attend them in their general and special Conventions; to give 
Notice in Writing to the Members of the Time, & Place, and Design, 
pf any special Meetings; to register all their Proceedings; and extract 
a State of their Accounts annually, to be imblishetl in the Gazette; 
for which they may pay him such Salary as they shall think reason 

The Trustees shall, with all convenient speed, after signing these 
Constitutions, contract with any Person that ofiers, who they shall 
judge most capable of teaching the Latin and Greek Languages, His- 
tory, Geography, Chronology, and Ehetorick; having great Regard at 
the same Time to his Polite Speaking, Writing, and Understanding the 


Ell olish Tongue; wliiqji Person shall in Fact be, and shall be stiled, 
the Rector of the Academy. 

The Trustees may contract with the Rector for the Term of Five 
Years, or less, at their discretion, for the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds 
a Year. 

The Rector shall be obliged, without the assistance of any Usher, to 
teach twenty ScJiolars, tlie Latin and Greek Languages, and at the 
same time, according to the best of his Capacity, to instruct them in 
History,, Geography, Logick, Rhetorick, and the English Tongue; and 
Twenty-five Scholars more for every Usher provided for him, who shall 
be entirely subject to his Direction. 

The Rector shall upon all Occasions, consistent with his Duty in the 
Latin School, assist the English Master, in improving the Y'outh under 
his Care, and superintend the Instruction of all the Scholars in the 
other Branches of Learning, taught within the Academy, and see that 
the Masters in each Art and Science jierform their Duties. 

The Trustees, shall, with all convenient Speed, contract with any 
Person that oflfers, who they shall judge most capable, of teaching the 
English Tongue grammatically, and as a Language, History, Geogra- 
phy, Chronology, Logick and Oratory, which Person sliall be stiled 

The Trustees may contract with the English Master for the Term of 
Five Years, or less, at their Discretion, for the sum of One Hundred 
Pounds a Year. 

The English Master shall be obliged without the assistance of any 
Usher, to teach Forty Scholars the English Tongue grammatically, and 
as a Language; and at the same Time, according to the best of his 
Capacity, to instruct them in History, Geogxaphy, Chronology, Logick, 
and Oratory; and Sixty Scholars more for every Usher provided for 

The Ushers for the Latin and Greek School, shall be admitte<l, and 
at Pleasure removed, by the Trustees and the Rector, or a Majority of 

The Ushers for the English School shall be admitted, and at Pleasure 
removed, by the Trustees and the English Master, or a Majority of 

The Trustees shall contract with the Usher, to pay him what they 
shall judge proportionable to his Capacity and Merit. 

NEITHER the Rector, nor p:nglish Master shall be removed, unless 
disabled by Sickness, or other natural Infirmity, or for gross voluntary 
Neglect of Duty, continued after two Admonitions from the Trustees, 
or for committing infamous Crimes; and such Removal be voted by 
three Fourths of the Trustees; after which their Salaries respectively 

^hall cease. 

The Trustees shall, with all convenient Speed, endeavor to engage 
Persons capable of teaching the French, Spanish, and German Lan- 
ugo 5 


guagCiS, Writing, Arithmetick, tlie several Brancjies of the Mathemat- 
icks. Natural and Mechanic Philosophy, and Drawing; who shall give 
their Attendance, as soon as a sufficient Number of Scholars shall offer 
to be instructed in those Parts of Learning ; and be paid such Salaries 
and Rewards, as the Trustees shall from Time to Time be able to allow. 

EACH Scholar shall pay such Sum or Sums, quarterly, according to 
the particular Branches of Learning they shall desire to be taught, as 
the Trustees shall from Time to Time settle and appoint. 

No Scholar shall be admitted, or taught within tlie Academy, without 
the Consent of the major Part of the Trustees in Writing, signed with 
their Names. 

IN Case of the Disability of the Rector, or any Master established 
on the Foundation, by receiving a certain Salary, through Sickness, or 
any other natural Infirmity, whereby he may be reduced to Poverty, 
the Trustees shall have Power to contribute to his Support, in Propor- 
tion to his Distress and Merit, and the stock in their Hands. 

FOR the Security of the Trustees, in contracting with the Rector, 
Masters and Ushers; to enable them to provide and fit up convenient 
Schools; furnish them with Books of general Use, that may be too 
expensive for each Scholar; Maps, Draughts, and other Things, gener- 
ally necessary, for the Improvement of the Youth ; and to bear the in- 
cumbent Charges that will unavoidably attend this Undertaking, espec- 
ially in the Beginning ; the Donations of all Persons inclined to en- 
courage it, are to be cheerfully and thankfully accepted. 

THE Academy shall be open'd with all convenient Speed, by accept- 
ing the first good Master that offers, either for teaching the Latin and 
Greek, or English, under the Terms above proposed. 

ALL Rules for the Attendance and Duty of the Masters, the Con- 
duct of the Youth, and the facilitating their Progress in Learning and 
Virtue, shall be framed by the Masters, in Conjunction with the Trus- 

IF the Scholars shall hereafter grow very numerous, and the Funds 
be sufficient, the trustees may at their Discretion, augment the Sala- 
ries of the Rector or Masters. 

* THE Trustees, to increase their Stock, may let their money out at 

IN general, the Trustees shall have Power to dispose of all Money, 
received by them, as they shall think best for the Advantage, Promo- 
tion, and even Enlargement of this Design. 

THE Trustees may hereafter add to or change any of these Consti- 
tutions, except that hereby declared to be invariable. 

ALL Trustees, Rectors, Masters, Ushers, Clerks, and other Minis- 
ters, hereafter to be elected or appointed, for carrying this Undertaking 
into Execution, shall, before they be admitted to tlie Exercise of their 
respective Trusts or Duties, sign these Constitutions, or some others to 
be hereafter framed by the Trustees in their Stead, in Testimony of 
their then approving of, and resolving to observe them. 


UPON the Death or Absence as aforesaid of any Trustee, the remain- 
ing Trustees shall not have Authority to exercise any of the Powers 
reposed in them, until they have chosen a new Trustee in his Place, 
and such new Trustee shall have signed the established Constitutions, 
which if he shall refuse to do, they shall proceed to elect another; and 
so toties quoties, until the Person elected shall sign the Constitution. 
WHEN the Fund is sufficient to bear the Charge, which it is hoped 
thro' the Bounty and Charity of well disposed Persons, will soon come 
to pass, poor Children shall be admitted, and taught gratis, what shall 
be thought suitable to their Capacities and Circumstances. 

IT is hoped and expected, that the Trustees will make'it their Pleas- 
ure, and in some Degree their business, to visit the Academy often, to 
encourage and countenance the Youth, countenance and assist the 
Masters, and by all Means in their Power, advance the Usefulness 
and Reputation of the Design; that they will look on the Students 
as, in some Measure, their own Children, treat them with Familiarity 
and Affection; and when they have behaved well, gone thro' their 
Studies, and are to enter the World, they shall zealously unite, and 
make all the Interest that can be made, to promote and establish 
them, whether in Business, Offices, Marriages, or any other Thing for 
their Advantage, preferable to all other Persons whatsoever, even of 
equal Merit. 

THE Trustees shall in a Body visit the Academy once a Year extra- 
ordinary, to view and hear the performances and Lectures of the Schol- 
ars, in such Modes, as their respective Masters shall think proper, and 
shall have Power, out of their Stock, to make presents to the most 
meritorious Scholars, according to their several deserts. 

N. B. The above Constitutions were signed on the l.'3th of November, 
1749; and are to be carried into Execution as early as may be in the 
ensuing Year, a considerable Sum being already subscribed for that 
Purpose by a few Hands; who hope, from the known Publick Spiiit of 
the People of Pennsylvania, that such further Sums as are necessary 
to be subscribed for perfecting this useful Design, will not be wanting. 
Thomas Lawrence Benjamin Franklin 

William Allen Thomas Leech 

John Inglis William Shippen 

Tench Francis Robert Strettell 

William Masters Philip Syng 

Lloyd Zachary Charles Willing 

SamuA McCall, jr. Phineas Bond 

Joseph Turner Richard Peters 

Abraham Taylor Joshua Maddox 

Thomas Bond Tho3ias White 

Thomas Hopkinson William Coleman 

William Plumsted Thomas Cadwalader 

David Martin, Rector 
Theophilus Grew, Math. Prof. 



CHARTER to Thomas Lawrence and others^ to be trtistees of the Acad- 
emy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania. 

THOMAS PENN and Kichard Perm, true and absolute proprietors 
and governors in chief of the province of Pennsylvania and counties 
of !N"ew Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, To all persons to whom 
these presents shall come, greeting: Whereas the well being of a so- 
ciety depends on the education of their youth, as well as, in great meas- 
ure, the eternal welfare of every individual, by impressing on their ten- 
der minds principles of morality and religion, instructing them in the 
several duties they owe to the society in which they live, and one to- 
wards another, giving them the knowledge of languages, and other 
parts of useful learning necessary thereto, in order to render them serv- 
iceable in the several public stations to which they may be called. 
And jchereas, it hath been represented tons by Thomas Lawrence, Wil- 
liam Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, William Masters, Lloyd Zach- 
ary, Samuel M'Call, junior, Joseph Turner, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas 
Leech, William Shippen, Robert Strettell, Philip Syng, Charles Will- 
ing, Phineas Bond, Richard Peters, Abraham Taylor, Thomas Bond, 
Joshua Maddox, William Plumstead, Thomas White, William Cole- 
man, Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwalader, of our city of Philadel- 
phia, gentlemen, that for the erecting, establishing, and maintaining an 
academy within our said city as well to instruct youth for reward, as 
poor children whose indigent and helpless circumstances demand the 
charity of the opulent part of mankind, several benevolent and chari- 
table persons have generously paid, and by subscriptions promised 
hereafter to pay into their hands as trustees, for the use of the said 
academy, divers sums of money, which sums already paid, they, the 
said trustees, have expended in the purchase of lands well situated, 
and a building commodious for the uses aforesaid, within our said city in 
maintaining an academy there as well for the instruction -of poor chil- 
dren on charity, as others whose circumstances have enabled them to 
pay for their learning, for some time past, and in furnishing the said 
academy with books, maps, mathematical instruments, and other neces- 
saries of general use therein, according to the intentions of the donors. 

And ichereasj the said trustees to facilitate the progress of so good a 
work, and to perfect and i)erpetuate the same, have humbly besought 
ns to incorporate them and their successors. 

Noic know ye, That we favouring such pious, useful, generous, and 
charitable designs, hoping through the favour of Almighty God, this 
academy may prove a nursery of virtue and wisdom, and that it will 
produce men of dispositions and capacities beneficial to mankind in the 
various occupations of life; but more particularly suited to the infant 
Btate of North America in general, and for other causes and considera- 


tions US hereto specially moving, have granted, ordained, declaretl, con- 
stituted, and appointed, and by these presents ire cbt, for us, our heirs, 
and successors ^rant, ordain, declare, constitute, and ai)poiut, That 
the said Thomas Lawrence, William Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, 
William Masters, Lloyd Zachary, Samuel M'Call, junior, Joseph Tur 
ner, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Leech, William Sliippen,liobert JStret- 
tel, Philip Syng, Charles Willing, Phineas Bond, Richard Peters, Abra- 
ham Taylor, Thomas Bond, Joshua Maddox, William Plumstead, 
Thomas White, William Coleman, Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwala- 
der and such others, as shall be from time to time <;hosen, nominated, 
or elected in their place and stead, shall be one community, coriwra- 
tion, and body politic, to have continuance for ever, by the name of 
The Trustees of the Academy and Charitable School in the province of 
Pennsylvania, and that by the same name, they shall have ix^rpetual 
succession, and that they and theij successors by that name, shall be 
capable in law to purchase, have, take, receive, and enjoy tcthem and 
their successors in fee and in perpetuity, or for any other or lesser estate 
or estates, any manors, lands, tenements, rents, annuities, pensions, or 
other hereditaments within the said province of Pennsylvania, or three 
lower counties of New Castle, Kentand Sussex, by the gift, grant, bargain, 
sale, alienation, enfeoffment, release, confirmation, or device of any per- 
son or persons, bodies politick or corporate, capable to make the same. 
Andfuriher, that they may take and receive any sum or sums of money, 
or any kind, manner, or portion of goods or chattels that shall to them be 
given, granted or bequeathed by any person or persons, bodies politick 
or corporate, capable to make a gift, grant, or bequest thereof; and 
therewith to erect, set up, maintain, and support an academy or any 
other kind of seminary of learning in any place within the said province 
of Pennsylvania, where they shall judge the same to be most necessary 
and convenient for the instruction, improvement, and education of youth 
in any kind of literature, erudition, arts, and sciences, which they shall 
think fitting and proper to be taught. And tee do hereby grant and 
ordain. That the said trustees and their successors by the name afore 
said, shall be able in law to. sue and be sued, idead and be impleaded 
in any court or courts, before any judge, judges, or justices within thesaid 
province of Pennsylvania, the three lower counties of New Castle, Kent, 
and Sussex, and elsewhere; in all and all manner of suits, complaints, 
pleas, causes, matters, and demands of Avhatsoever kind, nature, or 
form they be; and all and every other matters and things therein to do 
in as full, ample, and effectual a manner, as any other person or persons, 
bodies politick or corporate within that part of the Kingdom of Great 
Britain called England, or within the said province of Pennsylvania, or 
three lower counties in the like cases may or can do. And we do hereby 
give and grant unto the said trustees and their successors, full power 
and authority to make, have, and use a common seal with such stamp 
and inscription as they shall think proper; and the same to change, 


break, alter, and renew at their pleasure. And further, in order to 
continue and perpetuate this community and corporation, We do grant, 
ordain, and declare, that when any one or more of the present or future 
trustees of this academy and school, shall remove his or their habitation 
or habitations, and shall dwell at the distance of five miles from tlie 
seat of the said academy at that time, or shall go and reside out of the 
province of l*ennsylvania, although at a place nearer to the said academy 
than five miles, or shall hajipen to die or be otherwise disabled from 
performing the office and the duty of a trustee or trustees, the <5tlier 
trustees shall, as soon after as they conveniently can, proceed to elect 
and choose one or more fit person or persons, theu residing within five 
miles of the said academy, and within the said province, to fill the place 
or places of such absenting, deceased, or disabled person ()r persons. 
And ice do aho, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant to the 
said trustees and corporation, and their successors, full power and 
authority in all time and times coming, to make, ordain, and enact all 
all such rules, ordinances, laws and statutes, and from time to time to 
alter and amend the same as they shall judge most convenient, reason- 
able, and needful for the good government of the said community, the 
management of the affairs thereof, and the effectual i>romotion of the 
good ends hereby intended; provided always^ That the said rules, 
ordinances, laws, and statutes, be not repugnant tt) the laws and statutes 
then in force at tlie kingdom of Great Britain, or to the laws then in 
force in our said province of Pennsylvania. And lastly, We do, for us 
and our successors, grant, declare, and ordain, That these our letters 
patent and charter, and every clause, sentence, and article herein con- 
tained shall be in all things firm, valid, sufficient, and effectual in the 
law unto the said trustees, community, and corporation and their suc- 
cessors, according to the purport and tenor hereof, without any further 
grant or toleration from us, our heirs, or successors, to be procured or 
obtained. In u-itness whereof, we have caused these our letters, to be 
made patent; tcitness, James Hamilton, esq., lieutenant governor and 
commander in chiei", in and over tlie said i)rovince of Pennsylvania, at 
the city of Pliiladelphia, the thirteenth ilay of July, in the twenty 
seventh year of the reign of onr sovereign lord George the second, who 
now is king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c., and in the year 
of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty three. 

James Hamilton, [l. s.] 
Recorded Kith July, 1753. 





THOMAS PENN^, and Richard Peiiil, true and absolute proprieta- 
ries of the province of Pennsylvania, and counties of New Castle, Kent, 
and Sussex, on Delaware; to all persons to whom these presents shall 
come, greeting: 

Whereas it was heretofore repre^sented to us, by Thomas Lawrence, 
William Allen, Johu Inglis, Tench Francis, William Masters, Lloyd 
Zachary, Samuel M'Call, junior, Joseph Turner, Benjamin Franklin, 
Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Eobert Strettell, Philip Syng, Charles 
Willing, PhineasBond, Eichard Peters, Abraham Taylor, Thomas Bond, 
Joshua Maddox, William Plumsted, Thomas White, William Colemau, 
Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwalader, of our city of Philadelphia, gen- 
tlemen ', That they had, at their own expense, and by the donations of 
many well disposed persous, set up and maintained an academy withiu 
our said city, as well for instructing youth for reward, as poor children 
on charity, and praying us to incorporate them, and their successors 

for the more eflfectual carrying on and establishing the same: 

And whereas we, being desirous to encourage such pious, useful, and 
charitable designs, hoping that the said academy, through the blessing 
of Almighty God, would jirove a nursery of wisdom and virtue, and be 
the means of raising up men, of dispositions and qualifications beneficial 
to the publick, in the various occupations of life, and for other causes 
and considerations us thereto specially moving, did, for us, our heirs 
axid successors, by our charter, under the gi'eat seal of our said province, 
grant, ordain, declare, constitute, and appoint. That the said Thomas 
Lawrence, William Allen, John Inglis, Tench Francis, William Masters, 
Lloyd Zachary, Samuel M'Call, junior, Joseph Turner, Benjamin Frank- 
lin, Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Robert Strettell, Philip Syng, 
Charles Willing, Phineas Bond, Richard PetervS, Abraham Taylor, 
Thomas Bond, Joshua Maddox, William Plumsted, Thomas White, 
William Coleman, Isaac Norris, and Thomas Cadwalader, and their suc- 
cessors, duly elected and nominated in their place and stead, should be 
one corporation and body j)olitick, to have one continuance for ever, by 
the name of The Trustees of the Academy and Charitable School in the 
Province of Pennsylvania, capable U^ purchase and hold lands, to 
receive donations, to sue and be sued, to have and to use a common 
seal, to make rules and statutes, and to do everj'thing needful for the 
good government and perfect establislmient of the sfiid academy, or of 
any other kind of seminary of learning, which they should think fit to 
erect, maintain, and support, in any place within the said i)rovince of 
Pennsylvania, for the instruction of youth in any kind of literatuie, arts, 


and sciences, as by ^mr said cliaiter, enrolled in our recorder's office for 
said province, at the city of Philadeliibia aforesaid, may more fully and 
at large appear. 

Ifow Jcnow ye, That we do, for us, our heirs and successors, by these pres- 
ents, approve of, ratify and fully confirm, to the said trustees and their 
successors, all and singular, the premises, together with all and singular 
the matters, clauses, sentences, and articles, contained in our said let- 
ters patent and charter, excepting only one article, by these our pres- 
ent letters and charter altered and changed. 

Wherefore, by the mJvwe and consent of the mid trusteeSy Inow ye, That 
we do will and ordain, that the present trustees of the said academy, 
to wit: James Hamilton, William Allen, John luglis, Tench Francis, 
William Masters. Lloj^d Zachary, Samuel M'Call, junior, Joseph Turner, 
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Leech, William Shippen, Robert JStrettell, 
Philip Syng, Phiueas Bond, llichard Peters, Abraham Taylor, Thomas 
Bond, Joshua Maddox, William Plumsted, Thomas AVhite, William 
Coleman, Thomas Cadwalader, Alexander Stedman, and John Mifflin, 
and such other persons as shall from time to time be nominated or 
chosen in their place and stead, according to the order and direction of 
our said recited letters and charter, shall be one cx)mmunity, corpora- 
tion, and body politick, to have continuance for ever, by the name of 
The Trustees of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Phila- 
delphia, in the Province of Pennsylvania; and that, by the same name, 
they shall have perpetual succession. 

And ire do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, grant, ordain, and 
declare, That the said trustees and their successors, by that name, shall 
be able and capable in law, to purchase, have, receive, take, hold, and 
enjoy, to them and their successors iu fee and perpetuity, or for any 
other lesser estate or estates, any manors, lands, tenements, rents, an- 
nuities, pensions, or other hereditaments, within the said province of 
Pennsylvania, or three lower counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sus- 
sex, upon Delaware, by the gift, grant, bargain, sale, alienation, enfeoff- 
ment, release, confirmation or devise of any person or persons, bodies 
politick or corporate, capable to make the same; and such manors, 
lands, tenements, rents, annuities, pensions, or hereditaments, or any 
lesser estates, rights, or interests of, or in the same, at their pleasure 
to grant, alien, sell, and transfer in such manner and form, as they 
shall think meet and convenient; and further, that they may take and 
receive any sum or sums of money, and any kind, manner, or portion 
of goods and chattels, that shall be given, sold, or bequeathed to them, 
by any person or persons, bodies ])olitick or corporate, capable to make 
a gift, sale, or betpiest thereof, and therewith to erect, set up and main- 
tain any other kind of seminary of lejirning, in any place within the 
said province of Pennsylvania, where they shall judge the same most 
necessary and convenient, for the instruction, improvement, and edu- 
cation of youth, in any kind of literature, arts, and sciences, which 
they shall think proper to be taught. 


And we do hereby yrant and ordain, That the said trustees and their 
successors, by the name in this charter mentioned, shall be able in law 
to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any court or courts, 
before any judge, judges, or justices, within our said province of Penn- 
sylvania, the three lower counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on 
Delaware, and elsewhere 5 in all and all manner of suits, complaints, 
pleas, causes, matters, and demands, of whatsoever kind, nature, or 
form they be; and all and every other matter and thing therein to do, 
in as full and effectual a manner, as any other person or persons, bodies 
politick or corporate, within that part of Great Britain called England, 
or within the said province of Pennsylvania, or three lower counties 
aforesaid, in the like cases may or can do. 

And we do hereby give and grant, unto the said trustees and their suc- 
cessors, full power and authority to make, have, and use one common 
publick seal, and likewise one i)rivy seal with such devices and inscrip- 
tion, as they shall think proper; and the same, or either of them, to 
change, break, alter, and renew, at their pleasure. 

And whereas the said trustees have, by their petition to Bobebt 
Hunter Morris, Esq.; our lieutenant governor and commander in 
chief, in and over our said j)rovince of Pennsylvania, and counties of 
New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, represented. That since 
our granting our said recited charter, the academy therein mentioned, 
by the blessing of Almighty God, is gieatlj^ imi)roved, being now well 
provided with masters, not only in the learned languages, but also in 
the liberal arts and sciences, and that one class of hoi)eful students has 
now attained to that station in learning and science, by which, in all 
well constituted seminaries, youth are entitled to their first degree, and 
which the said students are earnestly desirous to be admitted to; and 
that it is hoped, from the capacities and diligence of this class, they will 
hereafter merit admission to the higher degrees in the arts afld sciences; 
from whence the said trustees reasonably exjject a succession of youth 
in this college and academy, equally meritorious and deserving of such 
publick honours, which are at the same time the strongest incentives to, 
and the justest rewards of, diligence and merit; and therefore prayed 
an addition to our recited charter, to empower them and their succes- 
sors, to admit deserving students to the usual degrees, and to confer 
such dignity on the masters in the said seminary, as shall seem meet and 
necessary for its good government and establishment upon this enlarge- 
ment of the design, for the benefit both of the present and future times. 
And we being willing to grant this reasonable request of the said trus- 
tees, and to give all i)roper encouragement to an institution so happily 
begun, and hitherto so successfully carried on, for the benefit of our 
said province, as well as the neighboring provinces and colonies in 

Now know ye also, That we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, 
give and grant full power and authority to the said trustees, and their 


successors, fi'om time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, in such 
manner, and under such limitations, as they shall think best and most 
convenient, to constitute and appoint a Provost and Vice-Provost of the 
said collogue and academy, who shall be severally named and styled Pro- 
vost and Vice-Provost of the same. And also to nominate and appoint 
Professors for instmcting the students of the same seminary, in all the 
liberal arts and sciences, the ancient languages, and the English tongue, 
who shall be severally styled Professor of such art, science, language 
or tongue, according to each particular nomination and appointment; 
which Provost, Vice-Provost and Professors, so constituted and ap- 
pointed, shall be known and distinguished, as one body and faculty, by 
the name of the Provost, Vice-Provost and Professors of the College 
and Academy of Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania; and by 
that name shall be capable of exercising such powers and authorities, 
as the said trustees and their successors shall think necessary to dele- 
gate to them, for the discipline and government of the said college, 
academy and charitable school; Provided always, That the said Trus- 
tees, the Provost, and Vice-Provost, and each Professor, before they 
shall exercise their several and respective powers or authorities, oflices 
and duties, do and shall take and subscribe the three first written oaths, 
appointed to be taken and subscribed, in and by one act of parhament, 
passed in the first year of the reign of our late sovereign Lord George 
the first, intituled. An Act for the further Security of his Majesty's Per- 
son and Government; and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of 
the late Princess Sophia, being protestants, and for extinguishing the 
Hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret Abet- 
tors; and shall also make and subscribe the declaration, appointed to 
be made and subscribed, by one other act of parliament, passed in the 
tweuty-fifth year of the reign of king Charles the second, intituled, An 
Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from popish recusants: 
excepting only the people called Quakers, who, upon taking, making 
and subscribing the affirmations and declarations, appointed to be 
taken, made, and subscribed by the acts of general assembly of the 
province of Pennsylvania, to qualify them for the exercise of civil 
offices, shall be admitted to the exercise of all and every the powers, 
authorities, offices, and duties above mentioned, any thing in this pro- 
vision to the contrary notwithstanding; all which oaths and affirmations 
we do hereby authorize and empower the lieutenant governor of our 
said province, or the mayor or recorder of the city of Philadelphia afore- 
said, or any two justices of the peace, for the time being to adminis- 

Which said trustees, and their successors, being qualified as hereby 
directed, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, estab- 
lish in their several and respective offices ; to have, hold, and enjoy, all 
and singular the privileges, liberties, advantages, powers, and immun- 
ities, herein or hereby given and granted, or meant, mentioned, or in- 


tended, to be herein or hereby given and granted, unt6 them and their 
successors for ever. 

And we do hereby, at the desire and request of the said trustees, con- 
stitute and appoint the Reverend William Smith, M. A. to be the first 
and present provost of the said college and academy, and the lieveren«l 
Francis Allison, M. A. to be the first and present vice-provost of the 
same, who shall also retain the name and style of Rector of the Acad- 
emy; which offices the said persons shall have and hold only during the 
pleasure of the said trustees. 

And we do further, for us, our heirs, and successors, authorize the said 
trustees and their successors, to meet on such day or days, as they shall 
by their laws and statutes appoint, to examine the candidates for ad- 
mission to degrees in the said college and academy, and also to transact, 
determine, and settle all the business and affairs of the same. And we 
do will and ordain, that at all those meetings, such a number of mem- 
bers so met and convened, as shall by the laws and statutes be author- 
ised to transact auyparticular affairs or business, and the majority of them 
shall-have full power to transact, determine, and settle such affiairs and 
businesSjinas ample and effectual a manner as if all the said trustees were 
present ; excepting always the nominating, constituting, and discharging 
'the provost, vice-provost and professors, or any of them; in all and 
eveiy of which acts, there shall be thirteen at least of the members of 
the said corporation present and consenting. 

And tee do further, for us, our heirs, and successors, authorize and 
emi)ower the said trustees, and their successors, met from time to time 
as aforesaid, to make laws and statutes to regulat<3, ascertain, and set- 
tle the lirecedence, jjo wers, and duties of the said provost, vice-provost, 
(or rector) and professors, in the execution of the laws made, or to be 
made, for the education of the youth, and wholesome government of 
the said college, academy, and charitable school; and also by these laws 
and statutes, in such manner and form as they shall think convenient, 
to empower the provost, vice-provost, and professors, for the time being, 
to make and execute ordinances, for preserving good order, obedience, 
and government, as well among the students and scholars, as the several 
tutors, officers, and ministers, belonging to the said college, juiademy, 
and charitable school; and further, by the said laws and statutes, to 
enact all other matters and things, in and concerning the premises, which 
may by the said trustees and their successors, be thought conducive 
to the well being, advancement, and perpetuating the said college, 
academy, and corporation ; provided ahcays, that the said laws be not 
repugnant to the laws and statutes then in force in the kingdom of 
Great Britain ; nor to the laws and statutes then in force in our said 
province of Pennsylvania. 

And we do further, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant to 
the trustees of the said college and academy. That for animating and en- 
couraging the students thereof to a laudable diligence, industrj', and 


progress in useful literature and scdeuce, they and their successors, met 
together on such day or days as they shall appoint for that purpose, 
shall have full power and authority, by the provost, and in his absence 
by the vice-provost, and in the absence of both the j^rovost and vice- 
provost, by the senior professor, or any other lit person by them author- 
ized and appointed, to admit any the students within the said college 
and academy, or any other person or persons meriting the same, to any 
degree or degrees, in any of the faculties, arts, and sciences, to which 
l>ersons are usually admitted, in any or either of the universities or col- 
leges in the kingdom of Great Britain. And we do ordain, That the 
provost, vice-provost, or other person api)ointed as aforesaid, shall make, 
and with his name, sign diplomas or certificates of the admission to such 
degree or degrees, which shall be sealed with the Y>ublic seal of the said 
corporation, and delivered to the graduatCwS as honourable and perpet- 
ual testimonials thereof; provided always, and it is hereby declared to 
be our true meaning and express will, That no student or students, 
within the said college and academy, shall ever, or at any time or times 
hereafter, be admitted to any such degree or degrees, until such student 
or students have been first recommended and presented as worthy of 
the same, by a Avritten mandate, given under the hands of at least thir- 
teen of the trustees of the said college and academy, and sealed with 
the privy seal belonging to the said corporation, after a i)ublic examin- 
ation of such student or students in their presence, and in the i)resence 
of any other persons choosing to attend the same, to be had in the hal^ 
of the*said college and academy, at least one whole month before the 
ad mi ssion to such degree or degrees ; and provided further, That no per- 
son or persons, excepting the students belonging to the said seminary, 
shall ever, or at any time or times, be admitted to any such degree or 
degrees, unless with the express mandate of at least two tiiirds of the 
whole number of trustees, first to be obtained under their hands and 
the privy seal aforesaid, to the provost, vice-provost, and professors of 
the said college and academy directed. 

And lastly, we do, for us, and our successors, (/rant, declare, and ordain, 
That these our letters patent and charter, and every clause, sentence, 
and article herein contained, shall be in all things firm, valid, sufficient, 
and effectual in the law, unto the said trustees, community, and corpo- 
ration, and their successors, according to the pur}>ort and tenor hereof, 
without any further grant or toleration from us, our heirs, and succes- 
sors, to be procured or obtained; provided always. That the clear yearly 
value of the messuages, houses, manors, lauds, tenements, rents, annu- 
ities, or other hereditaments, and real estat^e of the said corporation, do 
not exceed the sum of five thousand pounds sterling. In testimony 
whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent, and the 
great seal of our said province to be hereunto affixed. Witness Robert 
Hunter Morrus, Esq., our lieutenant governer and commander in 
chief, in and over our said province of Pennsylvania, and counties of 


New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware; this fourteenth day of 
May, in the twenty- eighth year of the reign of our sovereign lord George 
the second, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c. and in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five. 

Robert Hunter Morris. 


' [" Order in Council" to the Lord High Chanrellor to draw np Letters Patent anthorizinR the collec- 
tion of funds forihe joint benpfit of the College, Academy and Charitable School in PhLladelphia 
and of the College of the Province of New York.] 


The King's most excellent Majesty in Council. 

Whereas there was this day read to his Majesty at this Board the 
joint Petition of William Smith, Doctor in Divinity, Agent for the Trus- 
tees of the College, Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia in 
the Province of Pennsylvania, and Provost of that Seminary; and of 
James Jay Doctor in Physic, Agent for the Governors of the College of 
the Province of New York in the City of New York in America, setting 
forth — That the great growth of these Provinces and the continual ac- 
cession of people to them from the different parts of the world, being 
some years ago observed by sundry of his Majestys good subjects there, 
they became seriously impressed with a view of the inconveniences like 
to arise among so mixed a multitude, if left destitute of the necessary 
means of instruction, differing in Language and Manners unenlightened 
by Religion, uncemented by a Common Education, strangers to the hu- 
mane Arts, and to the just use of Rational Liberty. 

That these considerations were rendered the more alarming by sun- 
dry other circumstances, and particularly the amazing pains which Pop- 
ish Emissaries were everywhere perceived to take for the propagation 
of their peculiar tenets, and the many establishments which they were 
making for this xmrpose in all parts of America belonging to them; 
while his Majesty's numerous subjects there, and particularly iu the 
two important and central Provinces aforesaid remained too liable to 
their corruptions by being spread abroad on a wide frontier, with scarce 
a possibility of finding a sufficient supply of Protestant Ministers and 
Teachers for them, so long as opportunities were wanting to educate 
them there, and but few men of proper qualifications here could be in* 
duced to exchange their hopes in these kingdoms for a laborious em- 
ployment in a remote wilderness where they were to expect but small 
secular advantage to reward their toil.— That these inconveniences be- 
gan to be greatly felt not only by the Society for Propagating the Gospel 
iu foreign Parts, but also by the various denominations of other Protest- 
ants in his Majesty's Colonies, so that the good purix)ses which they 
severally had in view for the support and extension of the Reformed 


Religion in these remote countries were like to be greviously affected 
by the want of fit persons to send forth as instructors and teachers. 
That from a deep sense of these growing evils the two Seminaries afore- 
said, distant about 100 miles from each other were begun in two of the 
most important and populous trading cities in his Majesty's American 
Dominions, nearly at the same time and with the same view, not so 
much to aim atany high improvements in knowledge as to guard against 
total ignorance; to instil in the minds of youth just principles of Re- 
ligion, Loyalty and Love of our excellent Constitution; to instruct them 
in such branches of knowledge and useful artsas are necessary to trade, 
agriculture and a due improvement of his Majesty's valuable Colonies; 
and to assist in raising up a succession of faithful instructors and teach- 
ers to be sent forth not only among his Majesty's subjects there, but 
also among his Indian Allies, in order to instruct both in the way of 
truth, to save them from the corruptions of the enemy, and help to re- 
move the reproach of suffering the emissaries of a false religion to be 
more zealous and propagating their slavish and destructive tenets in 
that part of the world, than Britons and Protestants are in promoting 
the pure form of godliness and the glorious plan of public liberty and 
happiness committed to them. 

That for the better answering these great and important piu-poses 
the aforesaid Seminaries are under the direction of the chief oflicers of 
government sundry of the Clergy of different denominations, and other 
persons of distinction in the respective cities where they are idaced, 
and their usefulness has been so generally felt and acknowledged, that 
amidst all the calamities of an expensive war near ten thousand pounds 
sterling have been contributed in each of the said Provinces to their 
support, and some hundieds of youth continually educated on charity 
and otherwise; But as designs of so extensive a nature have seldom 
been completed in the most wealthy kingdoms, unless by the united 
generosity of private benefactors and often by the particular bounty 
of soveriegn ijrinces, the Petitioners are persuaded it will not be thought 
strange that all the resources in the power of individuals in young 
Colonies should be found inadequate to such a work, and that the Gov- 
ernors and Trustees of the said Seminaries should have the just appre- 
hension of seeing all that they have raised for their support speedily 
exhausted and an end put to their usefulness^ unless they can procure 
assistance from distant places, as the expense of each of them is four hun- 
dred pounds sterling yearly above their income; the defraying of which 
would require an additional capital of above six thousand pounds sterling 
apiece. — That, under such circumstances, at a time when the signal 
success of his Majesty's Arms in America opens a new field for the 
advancement of divine knowledge there, and renders the design of 
such Seminaries more peculiarly important, it was hoped that benefac- 
tors would not be wanting to give that kind assistance to pious foun- 
dations in his Majesty's Colonies, which has always been so readily 


bestowed upon every design of a like kind in these kingdoms, and 
seldom denied to Protestant brethren even in foreign nations — That 
the Petitioners being accordingly appointed to solicit and receive such 
assistance, and being sensible that the highest satisfaction which his 
Majesty's known piety and humanity can derive from the pro8i)erity 
and extension of his dominions will be to see these advantages improved 
for enlarging the sphere of Protestantism increasing the number of 
good men, and bringing barbarous nations within the pale of Religion 
and Civil Life; they are therefore encouraged humbly to pray — That 
his Majesty will be pleased to direct that a lioyal Brief may be passed 
under the Great Seal of Great Britain, authorizing them to make a 
collection throughout the kingdom, from house to house, for the joint 
and equal benefit of the two Seminaries and Bodies Corporate. — 

His Majesty taking the same into his royal consideration, and being 
willing to give encouragement to every design that may tend to the 
good of his Colonies and the advancement of Religion and Virtue, is 
graciously pleased, with the advice of his Privy Council, to Order, as 
it is hereby Ordered — That the Right Honorable the Lord High Chan- 
cellor of Great Britain do cause Letters Patent to be prepared and 
passed under the Great Seal for the collections of the charity of all 
well disposed persons for the assistance and benefit of the said two 
Seminaries, according to the prayer of the said Petition. 

(Signed) W. Shabpb. 


[Joint-Letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thos. and Rirhard Penn, and the Rev. Samnel 
Chandler, D. D., relative to the collection made in England and the criminal foundation of the Acad- 

To the Trustees of the College etc. of Philadelphia. 

Gentlemen, We cannot omit the opportunity which Dr. Smith's 
return to Philadelphia give us of congratulating you on the great suc- 
cess of the collection which he came to pursue, and of acknowledging 
your obliging addresses of thanks to us for the sh.are we had in recom- 
mending and encouraging this design. Such a mark of your attention 
to us will, we doubt not, excuse our hinting to you what we think may 
be farther necessary to a due improvement of this collection and the 
further prosperity of the Institution under your care. 

This Institution you have professed to have been originally founded 
and hitherto carried on for the general benefit of a mixed body of 
people. In his Majesty's Royal Brief, it is represented as a Seminary 
that would be of great use for raising up able instructors and teachers, 
jis well as for the service of the Society for propagating the Gospel in 
foreign parts, as for other Protestant denominations in the Colony. 


At the time of granting tliis collection, which was solicited by the 
Provost, w ho is a Clergyman of the Church of England, it was known 
that there were united with him a Vice Provost who is a Presbyterian, 
and a principal Professor of the Baptist Persuasion, with sundry in- 
ferior Professors and Tutors, all carrying on the education of youth 
with great harmony; and people of various denominations have here- 
upon contributed liberally and freely. 

But jealousies now arising less this foundation should afterward be 
narrowed and some party endeavor to exclude the rest, or put them on 
a worse footing than they have been from the beginning, or were at 
the time of this collection, which might not only be deemed unjust in 
itself, but might likewise be productive of contentions unfriendly to 
Learning and hurtful to Religion; we would therefore recommend it to 
you to make some fundamental Eule or Declaration to prevent incon- 
veniences of this kind; in doing of which, the more closely you keep in 
view the plan on which the Seminary was at the Time of obtaining the 
Royal Brief, and on which it has been carried on from the beginnuig, 
so much the less cause we think you will give for any party to be dis- 

Wishing continual prosperity and peace to the Institution, we are 
with great Regar.d, Gentlemen Your faithful Friends & Servants 

Tho. Cant. 
Tho. & ElCH Penn. 
Sam Chandler. 

London April 9th 1764. 

I as a Trustee approve of this Letter. 

Witness my Hand 

Will: Allen 


[The fnndr.mental Resolve or Declaration of the Trustees of the College, etc. not to narrow theorig^ 

inal foundation.] 

In consequence of the foregoing letter, a Committee had been ap- 
pointed by the Trustees to frame a fundamental Resolve or Declaration 
and on the 14th of June, 1765, the following was submitted to the Trus- 
tees, read and agreed to : 

"The Trustees being ever desirous to promote the Peace and Pros- 
perity of this Seminary, and to give satisfaction to all its worthy bene- 
factors, have taken the above Letter into their serious consideration 
and perfectly approving the sentiments therein contained, do order the 
same to be inserted in their books, that it may remain perpetually 
declaratory of the present wide and excellent plan of this Institution, 
which hath not only met with the approbation of the great and worthy 


personages above mentioned, but even the Royal Sanction of his Maj- 
esty himself. They further declare that tliey \rill keep this plan closely 
in their view and use their utmost endeavors tliat the same be not nar- 
rowed, nor the members of the Church of England or those dissenting 
from them in any future election to the principal offices menficmed in 
the aforesaid Letter be put on any worse footing in tliis Seminary than 
they were at the time of obtaining the Royal Brief. They subscribe 
this with their names and ordain that the same l)e read and subscribed 
by every new Trustee that shall hereafter be elected before he takes 
liis seat at the Board." 

Richard Peters, President, June 

U, 1764. 
James Hamilton, June 14, 1764. 
Thomas White, eTune 14, 1764. 
Amos Strettell, June 14, 1764. 
Thomas Cadwalader, June 14, 1764. 
Thomas Willing, June 14, 1764. 
Tlieophilus Bond, June 14, 1764. 
John Redman, June 14, 1764. 
Wm. Coxe, June 14, 1764. 
WilUam Plumsted, June 14, 1764. 
Phineas Bond, June 14, 1764. 
Benjamin Chew, June 14, 1764. 
Edward Shippen, junior, June 14, 

William Coleman, June 14, 1764. 
Joseph Turner, June 14, 1764. 
Jacob Duche, June 14, 1764. 
Lynford Lardner, June 14, 1764. 
Benjamin Franklin, June 14, 1764. 
William Shippen, June 14, 1764. 
Alexander Stedman, June 14, 1764. 
John Inglis, Sept. 11, 1764. 
John Penn, Oct. 9, 1764. 
John Lawrence, Kov. 19, 1765. 
John Allen, May 30, 1769. 
1180 6 

William Jones, May 24, 1771. 

Richard Penn. 

Samuel Powel. 

Thomas Mifflin. 

William White. 

James Tilghman. 

Robert Morris. 

Francis Hopkinson. 

George Clymer. 

Alexander Wilcocks. 

John Cadwalader. 

James Wilson. 

Thomas Fitzsimmons, Mar. 13, 

Henry Hill, Mar. 13, 1789. 
Robert Blackwell, Mar. 13, 1789. 
Samuel Miles, Mar. 13, 1780. 
William Bingham, Mar. 16, 1789. 
William Lewis, Mar. 16, 1789. 
John Nixon, Mar. 23, 1789. 
Robert Hare, Mar. 23, 1789. 
Caspar Wistar, jr.. Mar. 23, 1789. 
Richard Peters, Mar. 31, 1789. 
Edward Bond, June 26, 1790. 
David H. Cunningham, xVug. 17, 




Report of the Committee appointed by the Assembly of the Commonwealth 
of Pcntisyhmnia, to inquire into the state of the College of Philadel- 

We the Committee appointed to inquire into the state of tlie College 
of Philadelphia beg leave to report, that having made inquiry into the 
Foundation and State of the said College, do find that the said College 
was instituted uj)on a broad and catholic Foundation having equal re- 
spect to all denominations of christians, That the same was endowed 
by the charitable donations of well disposed people, jmblic lotteries and 
general benevolence of all Societies. 

That the Charter of said College contains a special clause, providing 
that the Trustees thereof shall take an oath of allegiance to the King 
of Great Britain, before they can proceed to any official act, — that 
divers of the late Trustees of the said College have during the present 
contest with Great Britain joined the British Army and now stand 
attainted as traitors — that the said Corporation in its general manage- 
ment and conduct has shown an evident hostility to the present Gov- 
ernment anrl Constitution of this State, and in divers particulars, 
enmity to the common cause. — That the funds thereof are now utterly 
inadequate to the purposes of Education, and will require some further 
support to give it that utility, credit and respect which a Seminary of 
Learning ought to have. That by an Act of Assembly of the 13th. of 
June 1777 entitled "An Act to oblige etc." Divers of the Trustees be- 
came disqualified to act officially, and your Committee have been 
advised that the disqualifications have not been removed by any sub- 
sequent Act. That your Committee also have sufficient reason to be- 
lieve that the fair and original plan of equal privileges to all denomi- 
nations hath not been fully adhered to. 

From all these circumstances your Committee are of opinion that 
there would l)e sufficient ground to model the Charter and Govern- 
ment of the said College so as to answer the original purpose of the said 
Institution. But when it is considered that Universitie<> and Colleges 
have a powerful influence on the interest and government of every 
Stsite 5(nd that the safety and happiness of the people are closely con- 
nected with and dependent u])on the education of youth, your Commit- 
tee are of opinion that a Bill should be brought in effectually to pro- 
vide suitable funds for the said College to secure to every denomina- 
tion of christians equal privileges and establish the said College on a 
liberal foundation in which the interests of American Liberty and In- 
dependence will be advanced and promoted and obedience and respect 

to the Constitution of the State preserved. 

Jo: Gardner 

John Smilie 

Wm, Hollingshead, 

John Moiiuis Junior, ClerTx, 



[The act of Nov. 27, 1779, dispossessing the Trustees of the Collei:e of Philadelphia of thoir charter 

privileges and estates.] 

An Act to confirm the estates and interests of the college^ academy^ and 
charitable school of the city of Philadelphia^ and to amend and alter the 
charters thereof conformably to the revolution and to the constittition 
and government of this commonicealthy and to erect the same into a uni- 

Section 1. WHEREAS the education of yoiitli lias ever been found 
to be of the most essential consequence, as well to the good government 
of states, and the peace and welfare of society, as to the profit and or- 
nament of individuals, insomuch that from the experience of all ages, it 
appears that seminaries of learning, when jnoperly conducted, have 
been publick blessings to mankind, and that on the contrary, when in 
the hands of dangerous and disaflfected men, they have troubled the 
peace of society, shaken the government, and often caused tumult, se- 
dition, and bloodshed. 

Section 2. And whereas the college, academy, and charitable school 
of the city of Philadelphia, were at first founded on a plan of free and 
unlimited Catholicism; but it appears that the trustees thereof, by a 
vote or by-law of their board, bearing date the fourteenth day of June- 
in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-four, have 
departed from the plan of the original founders, and narrowed the foun- 
dation of the said institution. 

Section 3. Be it therefore enacted, and it is hereby enacted, by the rep- 
resentatives of the freemen of the commonweaWi of Pennsylvania, in gen- 
eral assembly met, and by the authority of the same. That the charter of 
the said seminary, granted by the late proprietaries of Pennsylvania, 
bearing date the thirtieth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand seven hundred and fifty-three, whereby certain persons were in- 
corporated by the name, style, and title of The Trustees of the Academy 
and Charitable School in the province of Pennsylvania, and the addi 
tional charter, granted by the same iiroprietaries, bearing date on the 
foiu'teenth day of ^lay, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and fifty-five, by which the trustees of the same academy and 
charitable school were again incorporated, by the name, style, and title 
of The Trustees of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of the 
city of Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania, together with all 
and singular the rights, powers, imvileges, emoluments, and advan 
tages, and also all the estates, claims, and demands to the same coriwra- 
tion belonging discharged from the afore recited vote or by-law of the 
said trustees, confining and narrowing the true and original plan of the 
said institution, which vote or by-law, and all others, contrary to the 
true design and spirit of the said charter, are hereby declared to be 


void, be and they are in and by this act, ratified and confirmed to, and 
for the use and benefit of the same seminary for ever. 

Section 4. And to the end that the trustees herein alter named and 
appointed may be the better enabled to effectuate the pious and praise- 
worthy desig^ns of the founders, benefactors, and contributors of the 
said college, academy, and charitable school of Philadelphia, 

Section 5. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it 
shall and may be lawful for the supreme executive council of this state 
to reserve such and so many of the confiscated estates, yet unsold and 
unapproi)riated, as to them shall appear necessary, in order to create a 
certain fiind for the maintenance of the provost, vice-provost, masters 
and avSsistants, and to uphold and preserve the charitable school of the 
said university. 

Section fi. Provided always, That the yearly income of such estates, 
80 reserved and appropriated, to the use of the said university, do not 
exceed the sum of fifteen hundred pounds, computing wheat at the rate 
often shillings per bushel. 

Section 7. And provided also, That such reservation be from time 
to time laid before the general assembly of this state, for their appro- 
bation and confirmation. 

Section 8. Provided altcays, and be it enacted by the authority afore- 
said, That the ratifying and confirming the said charter, or any thing 
herein contained, shall not extend or be construed to extend to the con- 
firmation or establishing of any of the said trustees, in the said charter 
named, or deriving by any election, or pretended election, or appoint- 
ment by, from, or under them, or any of them, nor to any provost, vice- 
provost, professor, or other minister or officer of the said seminary, 
other than such as are hereby, or may hereafter be appointed, (the said 
board and the faculty being hereby dissolved and vacated) nor shall the 
same extend to such parts of the charter, as in and by this act are or 
may be abrogated, annulled, alteVed or supplied. 

Section 0. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
from and after the passing of this act, the superintendence and trust, 
together with all and singular the ])owers, authorities and estates, real, 
personal and mixed, of the said college, academy, and charitable school, 
shall pass to, devolve upon, and be vested in the president of the su- 
I)reme executive council of this commouwealth, the vice president of 
the same council, the speaker of the general pssembly, the chief justice 
of the supreme court of judicatuie, the .judge of admiralty, and the 
attorney-general for the time being, in virtue of their several offices, 
and the senior minister in standing of the episcopal churches and con- 
gregations, and the senior minister in standing of the presbyterian 
churches, and the senior minister in standing of the baptist churches, 
and the senior minister in standing of the Lutheran churche»s, and the 
senior minister in standing in the Geiman Calvinist churches, and the 
senior minister in standing in the Bomau churches, whose churches or 


houses of publick worship are or shall be in the city of Philadelphia, 
or within two miles of the old court house on High street, in the said 
city, together with the honourable Benjamin Franklin, doctor of laws, 
minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America to his most 
christian majesty ; the honourable William Shippen, Fretlerick Muhl 
enberg and James Searle, esquires, delegates in the congress of the 
said United States for Penusylvania; the honourable William Augus- 
tus Atlee, esquire, and the honourable John Evans, es(iuire, justices of 
the supreme court of judicature; Timothy Matlack, esquire, secretary 
of the supreme executive council of this state; David Rittenhouse, 
esquire, treasurer of this state; Jonathan Bayard Smith, esquire; Sam- 
uel Morris, senior, esquire; George Bryan, esquire; Thomas Bond, doc- 
tor of physick; and James Hutchinson, doctor of physick; which said 
civil officers, ministers of the gospel and others herein mentioned and 
appointed, for and during their continuance in the said office and sta- 
tions respectively, their abode in this state, and lawful capacity to act, 
and their successors for ever hereafter, shall be, remain, and continue 
the trustees aforesaid, by the name, style, and title of The Tnistees of 
the University of the State of Pennsylvania, and shall from henceforth 
have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy all the powers, authorities, and ad- 
vantages of the estates, rights, claims, and demands of the trustees 
appointed by, or in pursuance of the charters of the said corporation, 
or either of them, instead of the said trustees appointed by, or deriving 
under the said charter, or pretending so to do, in trust, nevertheless, 
for the proper use of the said university forever. 

Section 10. Provided always^ That if any trustee of the said uni- 
versity shall take any charge or office under the said trustees, other 
than that of treasurer, his place shall thereby be vacated, and in the 
case of a minister of the gospel taking such charge or office, or neg- 
lecting to qualify according to the directions of this act, within one 
month after personal notice given of his coming to such trust, the next 
minister in seniority, of the same denomination, shall succeed him, such 
seniority to be accounted from the time of settlement of such person 
as minister of a congregation in or near the said city. 

Section 11. Provided also, Tliat in case the choice of a new trustee, 
in the roojn and stead of any of the persons last named, or their suc- 
cessors, shall be disallowed by the house of assembly within six months, 
the trustees shall be obliged to make choice of some other person. 

Section 12. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
instead of the oath or affirmation and declaration which were enjoined 
and required to be taken and made, by the second or additional charter, 
herein before referred to, of the said corporation, by the trustees, pro- 
vost, vice provost, and professors of the said college, academy, and 
charitable school, which oath or affirmation and declaration, being totally 
inconsistent with the independence and constitution of this common- 
wealth, are hereby abrogated and repealed, the said trustees herein 


before appointed, and their snccessors, and the provost, vice-provost, 
and professors, and every of them, hereafter to be appointed in suoTl 
manner and form as herein is directed and required, before he or tliey 
enter upon the duties of their trust or ofiice, shall before two justices of 
the peace of the city of Philadelphia, or of some county of this state, 
take and subscribe the oath or affirmation prescribed by the fortieth 
section of the constitution of this commonwealth, to be taken by the 
officers of this state, and also the oath or affirmation of allegiance, 
directed to be taken by the same officers, in and by the seventh and 
eighth sections of an act of assembly, made and ])assed the fifth day of 
December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
seventy-eight, intitled, ^^A further supplement to the act, intitled, An Act 
for the further security of the government," and shall also take an oath 
or affirmation for the faithful discharge of their trust of office afore- 

Section 13. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
all and every the clause and clauses in the said charters, wherein and 
whereby the trustees of the said college, academy, and charitable school 
are directed and enjoined to make their rules, ordinances and statutes, 
not repugnant to the laws in force in the kingdom of Great Britain, nor 
to the laws in force in the province of Pennsylvania, be, and they are 
hereby annuled, repealed, and made void ; and the trustees herein and 
hereby appointed, are required and enjoined to review the rules, ordi- 
nances, and statutes heretofore made by the former trustees of the said 
seminary, which, so far as they are repugnant to the constitution and 
laws of this state, are hereby repealed, and to frame the same, if neces- 
sary, and all rules, ordinances, and statutes hereafter to be made, con- 
sistent with the constitution and laws of this commonwealth. 

Section 14. And he it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the business of the said corporation shall and may be transacted, per- 
formed, and determined by the major vote of a meeting of seven at least 
of the trustees api)ointed by this a*;t, and their successors, duly notified 
and called, other than the choice of new trustees, the nominating and 
constituting, or the dismissing of the future provost, vice-provost ax 
professors, or any of them; or the alienation or leasing of real estates, 
for more than seven years, or any extraordinary and new expenditure 
of the income, or other personal estate of the said corporation, or the 
altering any salary, or the granting degrees to the scholars of the said 
university, or to other persons, or to the making any ordinance, 
statute, or by-law; which several enumerated acts and doings may be 
transacted and performe<l by a majority of at least eleven of the said 
ti-ustees, duly notified and convened as aforesaid, and not otherwise. 

Section 15. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the clause in the first charter of the said corporation, whereby the 
trustees thereof were limited to be inhabitants of Pennsylvania, resid- 
ing within five miles of the academy and school aforesaid, although 


license was giveu in the said cbarter, to set up the same at any plaee 
within the said province, which the said trustees should judge to be 
most convenient, so far as the same clause limits the appointment of 
trustees to persons residing- within five miles of the said academy and 
school, be, and the same is hereby annulled, repealed, and made void. 

Section 16. And he it fvrther enacted by the mithority aforesaid, That 
the trustees hereinbefore appointed, and their successors, shall and may 
ask, demand, sue for, recover, and receive all evidences, mortgages, 
specialties, deeds, and instruments, and all papers, books of account 
and record, and the library, philosophical apparatus, and seals of the 
said corporation ; and all debts, dues, and demands to the same owing, 
belonging, accruing, or appertaining. And in case any person or per- 
sons having the custody of the said library, apparatus, mortgages, 
specialties, deeds, or instruments, or other papers, books of records of 
the said corporation, or having possession of the real estate of the said 
corporation, or any part thereof, sha]J refuse to deliver up the same wlien 
demanded, it shall and may be lawful for the trustees of the said college 
to summon any person so refusing before any two justices of the peace 
of the city or the county where the said real estate lies, or the detainer 
of any of the records, or other articles aforesaid, resides, who are hereby 
authorized and empowered to inquire into the said complaint, in a sum- 
mary way, and give judgment therein as to them shall seem meet accord- 
ing to the merits and justice of the case; and if such judgment be given 
against the detainer of any of the said deeds, specialties, mortgages 
or other articles before enumerated, and if such detainer shall still re- 
fuse to deliver the same, it shall and may be lawful for the said justices, 
and they are hereby required to commit such refuser to prison, there 
to remain without bail or mainprise, until the said judgment be com- 
plied with. And in the case of real estate, the said justices shall carry 
such judgment into execution, by issuing a writ of possession to the 
sheriff of the county, in the same manner as they are authorized to do 
by an act of assembly, intitled, "An Act /or the sale of goods di^it rained 
'■'■for rent, and to secure snch goods to the person distraining the same, for 
" the better security of rents, and for other purposes therein mentioned,'^ in 
case of tenants holding over their terms : Provided always. That if either 
of the said parties shall demand a jury to be summonetl, to try the sjiid 
matter in dispute, the said justices shall cause a jury forthwith to come 
before them thereupon, in the same manner as juries are had in the case 
of tenants holding over their terms as aforesaid ; and the said justices 
shall give judgment pursuant to the verdict of such jury, and proceed 
to the execution thereof, as is herein and hereby directed. 

Section 17. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the civil officers, ministers of the gospel, and other persons by this act 
constituted and appointed trustees of the said university, and their suc- 
cessors duly chosen, nominated and appointed, be one community, body 
politick and corporate, to have perpetual succession and continuance 


for ever, by the name, style, and title as aforesaid, and that by the said 
name they shall be capable and able in law to sue and be sued, have 
and make a common seal, and the same at their pleasure to break and 
alter, to make rules and statutes, and to do everything necessary and 
needful for the good government and perfect establishment of the said 
university; and the provost, vice-provost and professors hereafer to be 
ap])ointed and constituted by the tmstees aforesaid, shall be named, 
styled, and intitled. The Provost, Vice- Provost, and Professors of the 
same University ; and the name, style, and title of the body or faculty, 
composed of the said i>rovost, vice provost, and professors, shall be, 
The Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors of the University of the 
state of Pennsylvania. 

Section 18. And he it further enacted by the authority aforesaid^ That 
the said trustees shall at all times, when required, submit the books, 
accounts, and economy of the said corporation, to the free examination 
of 'visitors to be appointed from time to time by the representatives of 
the freemen of this commonwealth in general assembly met. 

Section 19. And he it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
the ti'ustees appointed by this act, or a majority of them, shall meet in 
the hall of the university aforesaid, in the forenoon on the first Wed- 
nesday in December next, and after being duly qualified as this act 
prescribes, proceed to the execution of their trust. 

John Bayard, speaTcer. 

Enacted into a law, at Philadelphia, on Saturday, the 
27th day of November, A. D. 1779. 

Thomas Paine, cleric of the general assembly. 


[Act of Assembly passed 6th of March, 1789, reinstating the trnstecs of the College, Academy, and 
Charitable School of Philadelphia] 

An Act to repeal part of an act, intitled, "J^w Act to confirm the Estates 
and Interests of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of the city 
of Philadelphia, and to amend and alter the charters thereof, conform- 
ably to the revolution and to the constitution and government of this 
commomcealth, and to erect the same into a University." 

Section 1. WHEREAS by the constitution of this commonwealth, 
it is declared and provided, " That all religious societies or bodies of 
men, heretofore united or incorporated for the advancement of religion 
or learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encour- 
aged and protected, in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities, and 
estates, which they were accustomed to enjoy, or could of right have en- 
joyed, under the laws and former constitution of this state." 


And tvhereas, by two charters of incorporation, granted by the late 
pro])rietaries of Pennsylvania, tliere existed within this comnionwealtli, 
on the twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of onr Ixird one 
thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, an ancient corp<3ratiou and 
body politick, by the name, style, and title of " The Trustees of the Col- 
lege, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, in the province 
of Pennsylvania," which corporaticm, at the time of passing the act, 
herein after mentioned, was sjeized, i)ossessed of, andintitled unto many 
rights and franchises, and divers estates, real, persf)nal, and mixed, and 
by the constitution and laws of this state, was intitled to the publick 
protection and encouragement, in the enjoyment and free use and exer- 
cise thereof, in conformity to the original design, will, and intention of 
the founders, donors, and benefactors of the said seminary of learning, 
in the same manner as it could of right have held, occui)ied, and enjoyed 
the same, under the former laws ahd constitution of this state. 

And whereas, by the said herein after mentioned act, which was passed 
on the said twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of our Ix»rd 
one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, the said trustees and 
corporation, and also the provost, vice-provost, professors, and all other 
masters, teachers, ministers, and otKcers of the said college, academy, 
and charitable school, were without trial by jury, legal process, or proof 
of misuser or forfeiture, deprived of their said charters, franchises, and 
estates, and the said board of trustees and faculty were declared to be 
"dissolved and vacated, and the superintendence and trust, together 
with all and singular the i)owers, authorities, and estates, real, personal, 
and mixed, of the said college, academy, and charitable school, were by 
the said act, declared to i)ass to, devolve up<m, and be vested in a new 
corporation or body politick thereby created *{ind established, by the 
name, style, and title of 'The Trustees of the University of the state 
of Pennsylvania,' to have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy all the iwwers, 
authorities, and advantages of the estates, rights, claims, and ilemands 
of the trustees heretofore appointed by or in imrsuance <»f the char- 
ters of the said (ancient) corporation or either of them;" all which is 
repugnant to justice, a violation of the constitution of this cx)mmon- 
wealth, and dangerous in its precedent to all iucori>orated bodies, and 
to the rights and franchises thereof. 

Section 2. Be it therefore enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the rep- 
resentatives of the freemen of the common ireaJth of Pennsylrania in gen- 
erai assembly met, and by the authority of the same. That so much and all 
such parts of an act of general assembly of this commonwealth, passed 
on the said twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord 
one thoTisand seven hundred and seventy nine, intitled, "An Act to 
contirm the estates and interests of the college, academy, and charita- 
ble school of the city of Philadelphia, and to amend and alter the char- 
ters thereof, conformably to the revolution and to the constitution and 
government of this commonwealth, and to erect the same into a uni- 


versity," as touch, or in any wise concern, or relate to the said ancient 
corporation, which was styled and known by the said name and title of 
"The Trustees of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Phil- 
adelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania," or the said charters thereof, 
or either of them, or as touch or in any wise concern or relate to the 
former rights, franchises, immunities, or estates, real, personal, or mixed 
thereof, or as tend to disqualify or disable the said trustees to act as a 
body politick, under the charters aforesaid, or to disqualify, deprive, or 
disable the body and faculty of the college and academy, known and 
distinguished in the charter, dated the fourteenth day of May, one thou- 
sand seven hundred and fifty -five, by the name, style, and title of "The 
Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors of the College and Academy of 
Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania," or any of them, from 
carrying on the design and purposes of the said college, academy, and 
charitable school, or to disfranchise or deprive them, or any of them, of 
any privileges, immunities, or estates, whatsoever, or of any part or par- 
cel thereof, or as vests the same or purports and intends to vest the 
same, or any part or parts thereof, in '' The Trustees of the University 
of the state of Pennsylvania," shall be, and the same and every such 
part and parts thereof, is and hereby are repealed and made null and 
void, to all intents and purposes whatsoever. 

Section 3. And be it further enacted by the autlwrity aforesaid^ That 
the trustees of the college, academy, and charitable school aforesaid, 
who were deprived and disabled, or intended so to be, by, and in pur- 
suance of the said act, and the survivors of them and their successors, 
by the name, style, and title of "The Trustees of the College, Academy, 
and Charitable School of Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of Penn- 
sylvania," and the provost, vice provost, and "professors, who as a 
faculty, were deprived and disabled, or intended so to be, by, and in 
pursuance of the said act, and the survivors of them and their successors, 
by the name and style of " The Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors 
of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania," shall be reinstated and restored, and they and each of 
them are hereby reinstated and restored to all and singular the rights, 
franchises, emoluments, offices, trusts, and estates, real, personal, and 
mixed, which tliey and each of them held and enjoyed, or ought or 
could of right have had, held, and enjoyed, or were intitled unto, ac- 
cording to the said charters find the laws and constitution of this state, 
on the said twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord 
one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine; and they and each of 
them and their successors, shall, and may ask, demand, sue for, recover 
and receive the same and each and every part and parcel thereof, and 
shall hold and enjoy, use, and exercise the same, and every part and 
parcel thereof, in the same manner and as fully and freely as if the said 
act had never been passed. Excepting always, so much of the rents, 
issues, and profits of the said real estate and estates, as were received 


by the said trustees of the university before the second day of March 
instant, which shall be considered, and they are hereby considered, as 
having been duly laid out by and expended, in the education of youth, 
and therefore no account shall be rendered thereof; and excepting aluo, 
such sum or sums of money as have been paid in discharge of the just 
debts, contracts, and engagements of them, "The Trustees of the said 
College, Academy, and Cliaritable School," entered into and subsisting 
on or before the said twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine; and excepting 
also, ^nch bonds, mortgages, and other specialties, of the former estate 
of the said last mentioned trustees, as have been transferred, can- 
celled, or discharged by theju, the trustees of the university, for the 
value of which only (without any account of the interest, actually re- 
ceived) they shall be accountable to the trustees of the said college, 
academy, and charitable school; and excepting lastly, certain lots of 
ground in the town of Norris, and county of Montgomery, which were 
given for the publick use and service of the said county, and certain 
other lots which have been contracted for, sold, and conveyed by the 
said trustees of the university, for the purpose of building and improv- 
ing in the said town; for the value of which lots only as they were con- 
tracted for, sold, and payment received by the said trustees, they shall 
be liable and accountable to the trustees of the said college, academy, 
and charitable school, and the said lots and every of them shall be, and 
hereby are confirmed, to the several purchasers thereof, on the pay- 
ment of the purchase money and arrears thereof, yet due to the trustees 
of the sai<l college, academy, and charitable school, in the same manner 
as such purchase money and arrears thereof yet due, ought to have 
been paid to the trustees of the said university, according to the sev- 
eral contracts for the sale and conveyance of the said lots duly and 
bonajide made by them before the third day of February last. 

Section. 4. And he it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the trustees of the said college, academy, and charitable school and 
their successors, by the name, style, and title of The Trustees of the 
College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, in the com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania, and the provost, vice-provost, and profes- 
sors of the said college and aca^lemy and their successors, by the iiame 
and style of The Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors of the College 
and Academy of Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 
shall respectively be in titled to, and shall have and pursue the like 
speedy, summary, and eflectual means and r«nnedies, for regaining and 
reinstating themselves in, and for having and possessing themselves of 
all and singular the rights, franchisees, offices, trusts, and immunities, 
and estates, real, personal, and mixed, to which they or either or any 
of them are in, and by this act restored, or which is hereby vested in 
them or either or any of them, together with all books, papers, and 
writings, touching or concerning the same or any part thereof, as were 


given, or mentioned and intended to be given, in and by the said in 
part recited act, and also in and by any other act or acts of general 
assembly of this commonwealth, to the trustees of the university there- 
in mentioned, or which they could thereby have or pursue for acquiring 
or possessing themselves of all or any part or parts of the estate or 
estates, real, personal, or mixed, rights, franchises, offices, trusts, or 
immunities, in and by the said in part recited act, transferred to or 
vested in them the said trustees of the university aforesaid, or of any 
books, papers, or writings, relating thereto; and all and every person 
and persons are hereby enjoined and required to govern and demean 
themselves accordingly, under the like i)ains and penalties as are in 
and by the said acts mentioned. 

Signed by order of the hoxise, 

Richard Peters, speaker. 
Enacted into a laic, at Philadelphia^ on Friday the 

sixth day of March, in the year of our Lord one 

thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. 
Peter Zachary Lloy'D, clerl- of the general assembly. 


Act of Assembly passed 30th of .September, 1791, uulting the University of tlie State of Peunsylvauia. 
and the College, Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia, under the title of the " University 
of Pennsylvania. ' ' ] 

An Act to unite the university of the State of Pennsylvania, and the col- 
lege, academy, and charitable school of Philadelphia, in the common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania. 

WHEREAS the trustees of the university of the state of Pennsyl- 
vania, and the trustees of the college, academy, and charitable school of 
Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, bj^ their several 
petitions have set forth, that they have agreed to certain terms of union 
of the .said two institutions, which are as follow: 

First. That the name of the institution be " The University of Penn- 
sylv^ania," and that it be stationed in the city of Philadelphia. 

Second. That each of the two boards shall elect, from among them- 
selves, twelve persons, who, with the governor for the time being, shall 
constitute the board of trustees of the university of Pennsylvania; and 
that the governor shall be president. 

Third. Tliat the professors which shall be deemed necessary to con 
stitute the faculty in the arts and medicine, respectively, shall be 
taken fi-om each institution e(pially; and in case of an odd number, 
such one to betaken from either by tlie choice of the trustees; and 
that the provost and vice-provost, or the principal officer or officers of 
the faculty, by whatever name or names they may be called, shall be 
chosen from among the professors so appointed. 


Fourth. That charity Hchools shall be supported, one for boys, and 
the other for girls. ' 

Fifth. That for the futme every vacancy in the board, except that of 
governor, sliall be filled up by election by ballot, by a majority of the 
members present, at any meeting of the new board, the members present 
to be at least thirteen; that due and timely notice of such election be 
at all times given, and that no person shall be elected to fill up such 
vacancy at the same meeting in which he shall be nominated. 

Sixth. That the funds and property of the institutions shall be united, 
and vested in the new trustees.. 

Seventh. That the professors and officers composing the faculty shall 
be elected by a majority of the members present at any meeting of the 
new board, the number present to be at least thirteen; that due and 
timely notice of such election shall at all times be given, and that no 
person or persons shall at any time be elected such professor or officer 
at the same meeting in which he shall be nominated. 

Eighth. That no professor or officer of the faculty shall be removed 
by a less number than two thirds of the members present at any meet- 
ing of the new board, the members present to be at least thirteen ; and 
that due and timely notice of such intended removal shall at all times 
be given, and that no person or persons shall at any time be removed 
jit the same meeting in which such removal shall be proposed. 

Ninth. That the board of trustees shall annually lay before such 
persons, as the legislature shall in the incorporating act direct, a state 
ment of the funds of the institution. 

And the said trustees by their several petitions have prayed, that a 
law may be passed to enable them to carry the said terms of union into 
effect, and to incorporate them in one body, according to the purpose 
and intention expressed in the said terms of union. 

Section 1. Be it therefore enacted by the senate and house of representa- 
tives of the conimonicealth of Pennsylvania in general assembly met, and it 
is hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That, in pursuance of the 
second article of the said terms of union, the trustees of the university 
shall elect twelve persons from among themselves to be trustees of the 
said university after the union, and shall certify the names of the 
said twelve persons, so elected, to the governor of this commonwealth, 
on or before the first day of December next; and that the trustees of 
the said college, academy, and charitable school, shall elect twelve 
persons from among themselves, to be trustees of the said university 
after the union, and shall certify the names of the said twelve persons, 
so elected, to the governor of this commonwealth, on or before the first 
day of December next. 

Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
from and after such certificates of the election being so made to the 
governor, as aforesaid, the said twenty -four persons so elected and cer- 


tified, together with the governor for the time being, who shall always 
be president, and their successors, duly elected and appointed, as here- 
in and by the said terms of union is directed, be, and they are hereby 
made and constituted a corporation and body politick, in law and in 
fact, to have continuance for ever by the aforesaid name, style, and title 
of The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and that the said 
university shall at all times be stationed in the city of Pbiladeli)hia. 

Section 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the said trustees, and their successors, shall be able and capable in law 
to sue and be sued, by the name, style, and title aforesaid ; and to have 
and to make one ]mblick and common seal, and also one private seal to 
use in their afl'airs, and the same, or either of them, to break and alter 
at their pleasure ; and to make rules and statutes not repugnant to the 
lawsand constitution of this state, or of the United States of America, 
and to do everything needful and necessary to the establishment of the 
said university, and for their own good government, and the good gov- 
ernment and education of the youth belonging to the same, and to con- 
stitute a faculty, or learned body, to consist of such head or heads, and 
such a number of professors in the arts and sciences, and in law, medi- 
cine, and divinity, as they shall judge necessary and proper, consistent 
with the aforesaid articles of union. 

Section 4. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, Thai;, 
all and every the estates, real, personal, and mixed, moneys, effects, 
debts, claims, and demands, either in law or equity, which at present 
are vested in, or belong to each of the two boardsof trustees of the said 
university, and of the said college, academy, and charitable school, who 
are hereby united and incorporated together, shall be, and they hereby 
are, transferred to and vested in the said trustees herein directed to be 
appointed and incorporated, and their successors, with full power to take, 
receive, hold, use, recover, and enjoy the same, according to the pur- 
pose, true intent, and meaning of this aet, and that in like maimer, all 
claims, rights, and demands, of any person or personsj bodies politick 
and corpoTate, against either ofthesaidtwoboards, shall be, and remain 
valid and effectual against the trustees herein dire(;ted to be appointed 
and incorporated, and their successors, with power to demand, receive, 
and recoverthe same, as if they had been originally contracted by, ordue, 
or recoverable from, the said trustees herein directed to be appointed 
and incorporated. 

Section 5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That, 
pursuant to the ninth article of the terms of union, the trustees shall 
annually lay a statement of the funds of the institution before the legis- 
lature of the commonwealth. 

William Bingham, speaker of the hov^e of representatives. 
KiCHARD Peters, speaker of the senate. 
Approved, September the 30th, 1791. 

Thomas Mefflin, governor of the commonwealth of Pennsylvam,ia. 


In his plan for the education of youth in Pennsylvania Franklin out- 
lines his ideas of university training, but all the parts of the Proposals 
are not wholly after Franklin's ideas. Franklin discovered that his 
idea of an English school education was not sufficient to win the finan- 
cial support of all the subscribers. Many of them thought that pro- 
vision should be made for the study of tlie ancient languages, and it 
was in order to gain the advantage of the support of these gentlemen 
that Franklin, in his spirit of compromise, inserted this clause: 

When youth are told that the great men, whose lives and actions they read in 
history, spoke two of the best languages that ever were, the most expressive, copi- 
ous, beautiful ; and that the finest writings, the most correct compositions, the most 
perfect productions of human wit and wisdom, are in those languages, which have 
endured for ages, and will endure while there are men ; that no translation can do 
them justice, or give the jdeasure found in reading the originals; that those lan- 
guages contain all science; that one of them is become almost universal, being the 
language of learned men in all countries; and that to understand them is a dis- 
tinguishing ornament; they may be thereby made desirous of learning those lan- 
guages and their industry sharpened in the acquisition of them. All intended for 
divinity should be taught Latin and Greek ; for physic, the Latin, Greek, and Trench ; 
for law, the Latin and French; for merchants, the French, German, and Spanish; 
and, though all should not be compelled to learn Latin, Greek, or the modern for- 
eign languages, yet none that have an ardent to learn them should be refused ; their 
English, arithmetic, and other studies absolutely necessary, being at the same time 
not neglected. 

To strengthen his defense of English studies he wrote at this time 
his Sketch of an English School', which was printed in pamphlet form 
at his press but did not receive much attention. . At the opening of the 
Academy Mr. Peters preached a sermon which was favorably received 
and printed in pamphlet form at Franklin's press; with characteristic 
sagacity Franklin sewed together his pamphlet, "A Sketch of an Eng- 
lish School," with Mr, Peters's sermon and so got his notions before 
the public. Forty years after the foundation of the Academy, FranJi- 
lin wrote his Observations Eelatiug to the Intention^ of the Original 
Founders of the Academy in Philadelphia, Avhich are appended, and 
in which may be found an elaboration of his views with respect to ed- 
ucation. He anticipated the revolt against the classics which has come 
in our day and has resolved Latin and Greek into the region of 
the dead. It is not inexpedient to say that Franklin's idea of study- 
ing such languages as would be of utility to those who pursued them 
is the correct principle in that department of education. In conform- 
ity with Franklin's notion we have the modern elective coui'se, which is 
the practical result of Franklin's challenge of the advantage and util- 
ity of compelling all persons who pursue higher education to pursue 
the same subjects in the same way for different ends. It will be no- 
ticed that there is a touch of humorous satire when Franklin writes in a 
spirit of compromise that "no translations can do the finest writings 
in Latin and Greek justice," or give the "pleasure found in reading 

i See page 36, supra. 


the originals," and that these languages contain all science." It should 
not be forgotten, however, that Franklin owed his fame to the publi- 
cation of his electrical investigations in the Latin tongue as well as in 
French, Spanish, and Italian. 

When he spoke for the study of modern languages and the resolution 
of Latin and Greek to a secondary place in modern education, he was 
confronting the entire educational opinion of his times. The first strug- 
gle between the old system and Franklin's ideas of the new education 
occurred in Philadelphia in the very institution which Franklin had 
been instrumental in founding, and the history of that struggle is told 
by Franklin himself two years before his death. ' 

It will be noted that in Franklin's plan of a school there was a pro- 
vision for the education of poor children. He had clear ideas resi)ecting 
the education of orphans, and the doctrines of equity regulated his ideas 
of charity. His Hints for Consideration Respecting the Orpha,u School- 
Houses in Philadelphia^ formulate the large experience of his life in 
charitable matters. He laid down controlling principles for such an 
institution, as follows: (1) For the regular inspection of the institution; 
(2) That the labor of the orphans should not be made for the profit of 
the establishment; (3) That an account should be opened with each 
orphan, crediting him with his labor, and debiting him for the main- 
tenance of his education; (4) At his discharge on coming of age, his 
accounts should be balanced, and he should be urged and in 'honor 
bound to pay any indebtedness, and he should receive any credit due 
him; (5) Upon leaving the institution, he should receive decent cloth- 
ing, some money, and, if deserving, a certificate of good behavior; (6) 
The institution should aid him in entering upon a business or securing 
a position in life. Stephen Girard seems to have been influenced by 
these principles^ in founding Girard College. 

^t 53 Franklin had become, by the application of his own max- 
ims, a man of- independent fortune, and much respected by his 
neighbors, and of good reputation throughout the colonies. There had 
been a long and bitter dispute in Pennsylviinia, respecting the rights 
of the Proi^rietaries and of the Assembly, chiefly turning upon the ques- 
tion whether the estates of the Penns should be taxed as other realty 
in the Province was taxed, Franklin had earnestly and efiiciently ad- 
vocated the rights of the Assembly, and it was as their representative 
that he went to Pjugland in 1757, .His biographer remarks that — 

It was Frauklin who chiefly educated the- colouirs in the kiiowledgeof their rights 
Hedid this in many ways, by his Junto, by hisnewsp.iper, by his conversation, by the 
libraries founded through him, by the taste for science which he communicated, but 
especially by the ardor and ability witli which he waged this long warfare against 
arrogant stupidity embodied in the degenerate offspring of William Penn. 

'See infra the Observations, etc. *Sjee Girard College, p, 189^ 

*See the Hints, p. 52, sujgra.. 


His experiments in electricity bad alreaily been recognized in Eng- 
land and in France, and lie was welcomed by the literary and learned 
men of the time. Franklin's defects in education were never suspected 
by the academic Avorld that sought his society.' He was a genius in his 
capacity for reading, a good listener, and though easy in his manners, 
gay and witty, he never sought to indulge the company with " flashes 
of silence." No sooner had he settled in London than his instinct to 
effect improvements showed itself, and smoky street lamps and filthy 
streets were the object of his attention. It is not my purpose to write 
a biography of Franklin, nor even to catalogue his experiments, but by 
reference to some of them to suggest the utilitarian character of the man 
and the origin of his educational ideas. 

The inattention of the ministry afforded him an opportunity for travel, 
and in 1757 he visited Scotland, where the University of St. Andrews 
conferred upon him the title of Doctor, by which he has ever since been 
known. Here he met Hume, Robertson, and Lord Kames, and it is 
thought by one of his biographers that Franklin's remark to Dr. Robert- 
son "suggested the well-known Macaulayan image of the New Zea- 
lander sitting upon the arch of London Bridge contemplating the ruin 
of St. Paul's.'' 2 

But Franklin was engaged in a larger service for his countrymen 
than the favorable acquaintance of eminent men j he was abnost con- 
tinually writing and printing pamphlets on the American Colonies for 
the enliglitenment of the English public. The dark and dreary waste 
of English opinion on the Americans at that time seemed impervious 
to the beams of Franklin's genius, and he succeeded but feebly at first 
in piercing that darkness, but the rays of his intelligence at last fell 
upon fertile soil and there sprang up a liberal party in the kingdom, 
which, at last, laid hold of the Government and compelled the acknowl- 
edgment of American independence. 

The usefulness of Franklin at this time may be understood by any 
who choose to read his numerous pamphlets and his letters. Frank- 
lin's farsightedness is illustrated in one of his cherished opinions ex- 
pressed to Lord Kames, "that the foundations of the future grandeur 
and stability of the British Empire lie in America." He opposed the 
restoration of Canada to the French, saying: 

If we keep it, all the country from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi will, in 
aiu)ther century, be filled with British j.eoplc; Britain itself will become vastly 
more populous, by the inunense increase of its commerce, the Atlantic Sea will be 
covered with your trading ships, and your naval power, thus continually increas- 
ing, will extend your influence round the whole globe and awe the worhl. 

He ever believed and labored to effect that Canatla and the Thirteen 
Colonies should comprise a political unit, and it was only by a blunder 

I Instance the honorary degrees he received from William and Mary College, St. 
Andrew's, Oxford, and Cambridge. 
• ^Parton. 

1180 7 


of his colleague in Paris, when the final treaty of peace was made in 
1783, that England failed to include Canada with the United States. • 

Franklin not only educated the colonies, but he educated England, 
and perhaps the most telling lesson that he imparted to the British 
public was in his examination before the House of Commons in 1765. 
For the first time England received true information of the state of the 
colonies, and the information was conveyed to the masters of England 
themselves. The examination of Franklin before the House of Com- 
mons was by no means an accidental or impromptu affair, but nearly 
all the questions and their answers were arranged beforehand by 
Franklh) and his friends among the liberal members of Parliament. 
This attorney-like proceeding does not affect the value of the evidence, 
but by timely shaping the examination it concentrated, in the brief pe- 
riod when Franklin was before the House, all possible information that 
could be elicited from the best-informed man in the colonies. In this 
examination Franklin was at home, and he himself played the first part 
in the most Socratic dialogue in parliamentary history. The whole ex- 
amination was after Franklin's own heart, and singularly in keeping 
with his own self-education. Experience and observation equipped 
him for the task, and his triumi^h is the proof of the excellence of his 

Franklin had a unique method of educating the British public, and 
he had learned it in his apprentice days in Boston and during the long 
struggle between the assembly and the proprietaries in Pennsylvania. 
The method is characteristic of all his political writings ; it was by 
briefly setting the whole question in dispute in a humorous light, by 
which the reader might see his way to the true conclusion, that is, the 
conclusion which Franklin wished drawn. This method of political en- 
lightenment is unquestionably good in journalism and in pamphleteer- 
ing, and has its uses in book-making and public speaking; but this 
very tendency in Franklin, it is said, excluded him from being asked 
by his contemporaries to write any of the great state papers of colonial 
times. It would hardly do to put a joke into the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Franklin's English pamphlets are exquisite political hits, 
of which two are particularly famous: "Rules for reducing a Great 
Empire to a Small One, Presented to a Late Minister" (Lord Hillsboro, 
when he entered uj>on his ministry), and "An Edict of the King of 
Prussia." These two articles show one phase of Franklin at great 
advantage. He was the first American humorist. 

Franklin was aware that public opinion is won and controlled by the 
most delicate and yet by the broadest manii)ulation, and that if he could 
win the favorable opinion of the British public to American affairs, he 
would control the votes of the House of Commons. By this procedure 
he showed the practicality of his mind; he appealed to the power in 
England which makes and unmakes ministries. 

'Seep. 161. 'Seethe examiaatioa in Bigelow, Vol. 3, p. 407. 


In appealing to this power he did not proceed blindly by addressing 
humorous newspaper articles to the general reader; he wrote these 
masterly articles for the education of the public; and he did more, he 
became the companion of the first literary and scientific men of Eng- 
land and won many of them to the support of his liberal ideas, n<>t by 
formal discussions of the rights of the colonies, but by exemplifying in 
his own character and appointments the nature of American institu- 
tions which could produce such a mail as he. It is not difficult for us 
to realize how Franklin thus became the typical American and won 
respect for America by winning respect for himself. Franklin's chief 
service to America Avas in the experimental proof that the human race 
does not degenerate in this country, but that it could equal, if not sur- 
pass, the old country in its productions.^ 

We must not forget that Franklin appeared in the drawing rooms of 
London when it was a common doubt among English ladies whether 
Americans were white or black, whether they dressed in skins or wool, 
whether they spoke English or Indian, whether they lived in houses or 
wigwams, and whether Philadelphia did not comprise Pennsylvania. 

Among the friends of Franklin in England were Adam Smith, who, 
at the time Franklin met him, was writing his classical work, "The 
Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations," and David Hume, the 
well-known author of a history of England and essays on politics and 
philosophy. In Watson's Annals of Philadelphia^ it is said that Dr. 
Franklin once told Dr. Logan that Adam Smith when writing his 
Wealth of Nations was in the habit of bringing chapter after chap- 
ter as he composed it to Franklin, Dr. Price, and others of the literati; 
then patiently hear their observations and profit by their discussions 
and criticisms, sometimes re-writing whole chapters, after such con- 
ference, and even reversing some of his propositions. Hume is quoted 
as writing to Adam Smith in 1776, saying, "Your work is probably 
much improved by your last 'abode in London." Parton has point^Ki 
out that Franklin's papers at this period "contain sets of problems and 
queries as though agitated at some meeting of philosophers for partic- 
ular consideration at home." All students of political economy have 
long known that Smith's "Wealth of Nations" is the first book that 
illustrates its propositions by allusicms to the American colonies. 
Smith's ideas were new and he was working out a new system of 
economics; in seeking a field for the application of his ideas it was 
natural that he should refer to America, a new country, as the region 
where his ideas might have a practical test. 

It is known that the Wealth of Nations wa s favorably received 

!The incident of the six tall Americans and the six short Frenchmen together at 
dinnei" is in point. 

-See speciallj-, Franklin's idea of Labor as a measure of wealth, expanded by Smith 
in Book I; and consult index to "The Wealth of Nations " title "America" foriUus- 
trations of Franklin's influence on Smith. 


and had great influence in centering the attention of Europe upon 
America. It is also known that the statesmen who cooperated in the 
formation ot the United States, Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, 
Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Morris, and others were brought up in the 
new school of Adam Smith. The Wealth of J^Tations had a most im- 
portant influence in the organization of government in America (1776 
to 1789) ; the doctrines of Smith are traceable in the debates of the Con- 
stitutional Convention of 1787 s^nd references- to the influence of the 
Wealth of Nations are scattered through the works of the statesmen of 
the period. ' 

It is not too much to say that Franklin's influence on economic edu- 
cation is illustrative of his whole educational doctrine. He gave to 
Adam Smith apt illustrations of the utility of the ideas of the Wealth 
of Nations. So great had been the changes in America due to its devel- 
opment "that the illustrations in the Wealth of ISations^ which bear par- 
ticularly upon the American colonies are now hardly estimated at their 
original value; it should be remembered that this book, which Buckle 
calls "the most important book ever written," and "the most valuable 
contribution ever made by a single man toward establishing the prin- 
ciples on which governments should be based," aa as the first work by a 
European scholar which made use of the American colonies as apt ilkis- 
trations of its doctrines and pointed to those colonies as the country 
where the new political economy should develop in all its strength. 
Had Franklin done nothing else in the world than contribute these 
illustrations to Adam Smith's book, he Avould have had a high j)lace 
among the great educators of mankind. As the first book on the eco- 
nomic basis of modetn government in America, the Wealth of Nations 
should be classed with the Federalist, De Tocqueville's Democracy in 
America, and Bryce's American Commonwealth. 

Franklin influenced English opinion by his association with the lead- 
ing men of the times. A suggestion only can be made of the educa- 
tional influence of such association by mentioning some of Franklin's 
English friends. Particular examination of the diaries and journals 
of the public men of the time would illustrate the extent of Franklin's 
influence; he was intimate with Burke, Hume, Lord Kames, Sir John 
Pringle, Dr. Fothergill, Dr. Cannon, Dr. Eichard Price, Dr. Priestley, 
and the Bishop of St. Asaph's; Lord Shelbourne, the Marquis of Rock- 
ingham, Lord de Lespencer, Lord Bathurst, Lord North, the astrouo 
mer Maskyline, and Lord Morton, were among his acquaintances. But 

'Mr. Joseph Wharton, founder of the AVharton School of Finance and Economy in 
the University of Pennsylvani.n, has in his possession Washington's copy of Adam 
Smith's Wealth of Nations, the edition in four volumes. Some errors in the proof 
are corrected in Washington's hand and there is other evidence that he had read the 
work carefully. 

*Prof. John Bach McMaster tells me that references to the Wealth of Nations are 
numerous m the newspapers and pamphlets of this period, 1777-17d0. [Editor.] 


it was with Dr. Priestley, Dr. Shipley, the bishop of St. Asaph, and 
David Hume, that Franklin was most intimat<^. 

A conversation between Franklin and Priestley isj-e<!orded when one 
evening, at the Royal Society, the question arose as to what was the 
most desirable invention that remained to be made. To which Frank- 
lin replied, "the spinning of two threads at the same time." We are 
told that before Franklin left London, Hargraves and Arkwright had 
perfected machinery by which forty threads were spun by the same 

Franklin's reply is illustrative of his utilitarianism; he lived in the 
days of leather breeches and vests, and even of greatcoats, when the 
poor were not clad in comfort. So expensive was woolen cloth that a 
family was obliged to make fiill use of it when once in their possession, 
and, as is attested by the recorded wills of thousands of Americans of 
that time, the personal apparel of the parents was transmitted to the 
individual members of the family .^ 

Franklin's services to his country by educating England to an un- 
derstanding of the conditions of the American colonies were temjiora- 
rily suspended by his return to America in 1775, when it seemed to 
many that he had failed in securing the object of his mission. Subse- 
quent events, however, proved that his humorous contributions to the 
newspapers, in which he discussed in a broad way the American situa- 
tion, had educated the public mind and his intimacy with men and 
women of eminence and learning had laid the foundations of a jwliti- 
cal party. 

Franklin's writings seem the spontaneous production of an easy 
mind ; on the contrary, they are the result of painstaking effort, of re- 
peated interlineation, revision, and rewriting, and his best pieces were 
rewritten seven or eight times before he published them. Among the 
Franklin papers in Washington are many which are the successive 
copies of such pieices. It is surprising at first thought that a man so 
busy as Franklin could find time and would have the patience to give 
such detailed attention to the pieces which he wrote for the pleasure of 
his friends, but Franklin loved details and excelled in the exquisite 
practice of literary refinement until his anecdote or his scientific paper, 
freed from all useless words, illustrated the standard of tlie simple and 
concise style which he so frequently pronounced most perfect. His 
frequent defense of an English education was doubtless suggested 
by his own patience and experience in writing these perfect protluctions 
in his own tongue. He could not see any advantage in traveling along 
an Italian Row, a Spanish Row, and a French Row in the midst of this 

' "There are spinning mules in operation now in the city of Philadelphia which 
will spin one tlionsand threads at a time." [Charles Heber Clarke to Editor.] 

^See Weeden's ''Social and Economic History of New England," remarks ou 
"cloth" and " textile fabrics." 


literary Vanity Fair when the English way was so direct, so conven- 
ient, and so plain.' 

Franklin never outgrew the lessons of his own efforts in self-educa- 
tion. Perhaps no better illustration of the effects of education upon 
the mind when men are called to decide on important matters is found 
than in the curious judgment of the committee appointed by Congress 
July 4, 1776, consisting of Franklin, Jefferson,, and John Adams, to 
prepare a device for a seal for the General Government.* The various 
devices proposed by the members of the committee suggest the educa- 
tion which each had received in his boyhood. We learn from Adams 
that Dr. Franklin proposed as a device, " Moses lifting up his wand 
and dividing the Eed Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed 
with the waters." The motto, " Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to 
God." Probably Franklin's memory of his home training in Milk 
Street, where his childish ideas were colored by incidents in Jewish 
history, may explain the origin of this device. 

Jefferson proposed as a device, " The children of Israel in the 
wilderness; led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; and 
on the other side, Hen gist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs, from whom 
we claim the honor of being descended, and whose political principles 
and form of Government we have assumed." Evidently Jefferson's 
youthful training was not wholly biblical and the curious mixture of 
Hebraism and British mythology was characteristic of the constructive 
Jeftersonian politics. 

Adams forgot his Old Testament training and thought the choice 
should be of Hercules, " as engraved by GribeUn in some editions of 
Lord Shaftesbury's works. The hero resting on his club; Virtue point- 
ing to her rugged mountain on one hand and persuading him to ascend; 
Sloth, glancing at her flowery paths of pleasure, wantonly reclining on 
the ground, displaying the charms both of her eloquence and person, 
to seduce him into vice." John Adams had read Lord Shaftesbury at 
the turning point of his youthful education, and characteristically 
leaving the plain illustrations of Hebrew history, he preferred the 
abstractions of the founder of North Carolina. 

It might be thought that in suggesting a seal for the United States 
Franklin would have proposed a figure of a saw, or a hammer, or a print- 
ing press. We are told that after nearly six weeks' deliberation Moses 
and Pharaoh and Hengist and Horsa and Lord Shaftesbury were left 
behind, and the committee proposed an emblematic seal suggestive of 
the composite character of American institutions: "A rose for England, 
a thistle for Scotland, a harp for Ireland, a fleur-de-lis for France, a 
black eagle for Germany, a lion for the Low Countries." The United 

'See his Observations Relative, to the Intentions of the Original Founders of the 
Academy in Philadelphia, in which he vigorously defends an English education. 

"The Seal of the United States, how it was developed and adopted; Washington, 
Department of State, lb92. 


States was to appear upon the border by its initials, and the goddess of 
liberty in armor, with a spear, cap, and shield, was to support the em- 
blazonmentj Justice, with her naked sword, was to guard all. All was 
to be under "the eye of Providence in a radiant triangle, whose 
glory extends over the shield and beyond the figures. Motto: 'E 
Pluribus Unum.' " And round the whole the legend " Seal of the 
United States of America, MDCCLXXVI." Franklin seems to 
have won the committee to his idea, and on the other side of tlie 
seal Pharjioh was to sit in his chariot, with a crown on his hea<l and 
a sword in his hand, passing through the divided waters of the Ked 
Sea in pursuit of the fleeing Israelites. But even here Franklin illus- 
trated his diplomacy by compromising with Jefferson in the device 
of a pillar of fire in a cloud, expressive of the Divine presence which 
beamed on Moses, who stood on the shore extending his hand over 
the waters and causing the fearful overflow. Franklin's motto was 
retained. Happily for the device on our national seal. Dr. Franklin 
at this time was sent to France and other committees, following out the 
suggestions of Franklin's famous story ot the hatter, suppressed all of 
the original design except the motto and the eye of Providence. 

It was on this voyage to France, rough and painful, that Franklin, 
though suffering the miseries of unwholesome accommodations and al- 
most continuous sea-sickness, " contrived every day to take the tempera- 
ture of the ocean, in order to verify anew his discovery of the warmth 
of the Gulf Stream." He could no more resist the opportunity of mak- 
ing experiments than he could resist being cheerful. An interesting 
collection of data might be made from his writings illustrative of his no- 
tions on experimentation. It may be said that scarcely a page of his 
collected works fails to contain some suggestion of experiment to de- 
termine the usefulness of a proposition. Franklin's chief iiifluence in 
American education is due to his starting this enginery of experiment, 
and in the wake of his useful life there followed a noble number of dis- 
tinguished men who have contributed to the welfare of mankind by 
their experiments in connection with institutions founded by Franklin, 
or under the impulse of his ideas, such as the University of Pennsylva- 
nia, the American Philosophical Society, and the Franklin Institute. 

In France Franklin continued to educate Europe in American affairs, 
and not only in American affairs but in the principles of representative 
government. He put into the hands of Dr. Dubourg* a volume of the 
first constitutions of the American States, and superintended their trans- 
lation into French. It is of these constitutions that Thomas Paine said 
" they were to liberty what grammar is to language ; they define its parts 
of speech and practically construct them into syntax." Their publica- 
liou was resisted for a long time by the French Government, but pub- 

' It was M. Dnbourg who had been chiefly instrumental iu publishing many of 
Franklin's letters on electricity. 


lie opinion at last forced tlieir publication. The effect of bringing 
American ideas before the people of France is touched on in Franklin's 
letter to Dr. Samuel Cooper in May, 1777: 

All Europe is ou our side of the question as far as applause and good wishes can 
carry them. Those who live under arbitrary power do nevertheless approve of lib- 
erty, and wish for it; they almost despair of recovering it in Europe; they read the 
trdnslations of our separate colony (?) constitutions with I'apture; and there are 
such numbers of them everywhere who talk of removing to America, with their 
families and fortunes, as soon as peace and our iudo])endence shall be established 
that it is generally believed we shall have a prodigious addition of strength, wealth, 
and arts, from the emigrations of Europe; and it is thought that, to lessen or pre- 
vent such emigrations, the tyrannies established there must relax, and allow more 
liberty to their people. Hence it is a common observation here, that our cause is 
the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our 

This passage illustrates much of Franklin's economy ; he would ap- 
peal to tiie public, he would induce immigration at a time when immi- 
gration was almost unknown, when the difficulties in the way of the 
German or French or Dutch family who would find a home in America 
were sufficient to keep them in their own country. Franklin would 
proceed on universal principles and make his cause "the cause of all 
mankind." He touched the French mind at the point when the slight- 
est friction kindled a flame, and the effect of the publication of these 
American Constitutions in hastening and shaping the French Kevolu- 
tion is beyond computation. It is known that Turgot and Neckar 
opposed French aid to the American Colonies on the ground of the tre- 
mendous cost to France, not merely in depleting the treasury, but in 
undermining the monarchy. 

It is Franklin's work in France that gave expression there to the 
philosophy of David Hume and the economy of Adam Smith, Doubt- 
less these three men, Franklin, Hume, and Adam Smith, were the tri- 
umvirate of the eighteenth century. Tlie philosophy of Hume, the econ- 
omy of Adam Smith, and the practicality of Franklin represent the three 
controlling ideas in that creative period ; to these three influences, co- 
operating at a critical time in the development of constitutional gov- 
ernment, the world owes the development of modern science, of mod- 
ern industry, and the triumph of representative government. The 
meeting of three such forces in the world by the communion of Frank- 
line and Hume and Smith in their conversations in Edinburgh, suggests 
a subject for philosophical examination. 

In Franklin's "Proposals Kelating to the Education of Youth in 
Pennsylvania " he told the reader that — 

The idea of what is true merit should also be often presented to youth, explained, 
and impressed on their minds as consisting in the inclination Joined with the 
ability to serve mankind, one's country, friends, and family, which ability is, with" 
the blessing of God, to be acquired or greatly increased by true learning, and 
should indeed be the great aim and end of all learning. 


He practiced this precept. The translations of the American Con 
stitutions served '"the cause of all mankind," and everybody knows 
how Franklin was ever mindful of his friends and his family whenever 
he could serve them, either in private or public life; any of his rela- 
tives who were capable of filling office usually filled one. His life is 
full of applications of his system of prizes and rewards laid down in 
his scheme for an English school. If he would give gilt books to chil- 
dren, he would give to those who served their country the reward of 
public recognition. Thomas Wren was a dissenting clergyman at 
Portsmouth, England, who sympathizing with the American cause and 
pitying the distress of the American prisoners, devoted much of his 
time to the relief of the Americans in Forton Jail. He gave of his own 
small fortune, he obtained the assistance of his friends, he bought 
clothing and medicine and food, and in every way in his power con- 
tributed to the comfort of those unhappy men. Dr. Franklin was in 
correspondence with him throughout the war and as a slight proof of 
his sense of the indebtedness of the public to Wren, Franklin was in- 
strumental in securing him a vote of thanks from Congress in 1783 
and the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Princeton College. 

Illustrations abound in Franklin's life of his constant practice of the 
principles laid down in his scheme for the eduction of youth. Utilita- 
rianism has its machinery of compensation and Franklin ever worked 
this machinery with success. His scheme of education made no provi- 
sion for the useless man, and on several occasions he makes an ancient 
college, as in the case of Princeton, the means of rewarding a useful 
act. He seems to have discovered a usefulness in the granting of col- 
lege degrees which at that time was so shamefully abused. 

It is in 1778, while in his seventy-second year, when Franklin and 
John Adams are associated in dii)lomatic work in Paris, that the dif- 
ference in their educational equipment is so apparent. Adams was a 
lawyer, regular in all his habits, clear in interiwetiug his own course in 
affairs, and one of the great company of human beings who worship 
order. The first point of difference between Franklin and Adams was 
relating to order. Of this Franklin had little and Adams had much. 
Everybody recalls Franklin's exquisite confession of his own failure to 
acquire orderly habits in his autobiography. It occurs in his account 
of his effbir't to apply his Art of Virtue. One of the virtues at which he 
aimed was order. 

I made so little progress in amendment [be says] and had such frequent relapses 
that I was almost ready to give np the attempt, and content myself with a faulty 
character in that respect, like the man, who, in buying an ax of a smith, my neighbor, 
desired to have the whole of th» surface as bright as the edge. The smith consented 
to grind it bright for him if he would turn the wheel ; he turned while the smith 
pressed the btoad face of the ax hard and heavily on the stous which made the turn- 
ing of it very fatiguing. The man came every now and then from the wheel to see 
how the work went on and at length would take his ax as it was, without farther 
grinding. "No," said the smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it bright by and 


by ; as yet it is only speckled." " Yes," says the man, " but I think I like a speck'.ed 
ax best." And I believe this may have been the case -with irfany who, having for 
want of some such means as I employed, fotind the difficulty of obtaining good and 
breaking bad habits in other points of vice and virtue, have given ux) the struggle, 
and concluded "that a speckled ax was best ;" for something, that pretended to be 
reason, was every now and then suggesting to me that such extreme nicety as I ex- 
acted of myself might be a kind of foppery fn morals, which, if it were known, 
would make me ridiculous; that a perfect character might be attended with the in- 
convenience of being envied and hated, and that a benevolent man should allow a 
few faults in himself to keep his friends in countenance. In truth I found myself 
incorrigible with respect to order; and now I am grown older and my memory bad, 
I feel very sensibly the want of it. 

Had Franklin had a keener appetite for order be might possibly have 
collected his various writings, or he might have completed his auto- 
biography, or he might have arranged more perfectly the details of 
many of his experiments, or he might have set forth somewhere the 
means by which he arrived at so many of his opinions. Though Frank- 
lin is always taking us into his confidence, there are many interesting 
matters about him on which we would like further information. Frank- 
lin, like Daniel Webster, was capable of taking his ease. His large soul 
had need to be stirred now and then by lesser men. He would never 
have undertaken his autobiography, that priceless fragment of litera- 
ture, had it not been pressed upon him by his friends. 

That Franklin was estimated a hundred years ago very much as he 
is estimated to-day is evident from a letter to him by Benjamin Vaughan, 
dated Paris, January 31, 1783, in which Franklin is urged to continue 
his autobiography and to write his "Ait of Virtue." 

Your history is so remarkable that if you do not give it somebody else will certainly 
give it, and perhaps so as nearly to do as mnch harm as your own management of 
the thing might do good. 

It will moreover present a table of internal circnmstauces of your country which 
will very much tend to invite to it settlers of virtuous and manly minds. And con- 
sidering the eagerness with which such information is sought by them, and the ex- 
tent of your reputation, I do not know of a more efficacious advertisement than your 
biography would give. 

All that has happened to you is also connected with the detail of the manner and 
situation of a rising people ; and in this respect I do not think that the writings of 
CfEsar and Tacitus can be more interesting to a judge of human nature and society. 

But these, sir, are small reasons, in my opinion, compared with the chance which 
yonr life will give for the forming of future great men, and in conjunction with 
your "Art of Virtue " (which you design to publish) of improving the features of pri- 
vate character, and consequently of aiding all happiness, both public and domestic. 

The two works I allude to, sir, will in particular give a noble rule and example of 
self-education. School and other education constantly proceed upon false principles, 
and show a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but jour apparatus is simple 
nnd the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are left destitute of 
other just means of estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in life, 
your discovery that the thing is in many a man's private power will be invaluable. 

Influence upon the private character late" in life is not only an influence late in 
life, but a weak influence. It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and preju- 
dices; it is in youth that we take our parties as to profession, pursuits; and matri- 


mouy. In youth therefore the turn is given ; iu yonth the edncation even of the next 
generation is given; in youth the private and public character is determined, and 
the term of life extending out from youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth, 
and more especially before we take our party as to our principal objects. 

But your biography will not merely teach self-education, but the education of a 
wise man; and the wisest man will receive lights and improve his progress by see- 
ing detailed the conduct of another wise man. And why are weaker men to be 
deprived of such helps when we see our race has been blundering on in the dark, 
almost without a guide iu this particular, from the farthest trace of time. Show, 
then, sir, how much is to be done, both to the sons and fathers, and invite all wise 
men to become like yourself, and other men to become wise. 

When we see how cruel statesmen and waiTiors can be to the human race, how 
absurd distinguished men can be to their acquaintances, it will be instructive to 
observe the instances multiply of pacific, acquieScing manners; and to find how com- 
patible it is to be great and domestic, enviable and yet good-humored. The little 
private incidents which you will also have to relate will have considerable use, as 
we want above all things rules of prudence iu ordinary affairs ; and it will be curious 
to-see how you have acted in these. It will bo so far a sort of a key to life, and ex- 
plain many things that all men ought to have once explained to them, to give them 
a chance of becoming wise by foresight. 

The nearest thing to having experience of one's own is to have other people's 
afl'airs brought before us in a shape that is interesting. This is sure to happen from 
your pen. Your affairs aud management will have an air of simplicity or importance 
that will not fail to strike ; and I am convinced you have conducted them with as 
much originality as if you had been conducting decisions in politics or philosophy ; 
and what more worthy of experiments aud system (its importance and its errors 
considered) than human life. 

Some men have been virtuous blindly, others have speculated fantastically, and 
others have been shrewd to bad purposes; but you., sir, I am sure, will give under 
your hand nothing but what is at the same moment wise, practical, and good. 

Your account of yourself, for I suppose the parallel I am drawing for Dr. Franklin 
will hold not only in point of character, but of private history, will show that you 
are ashamed of no origin, a thing the more important as you prove how little neces- 
sary all origin is to happiness, virtue, or greatness. 

As no end likewise happens without a means, so we shall find, sir, that even yon yonr- 
self framed a plan by which you became considerable; but at the same time we 
may see that though the event is flattering, the means are as simple as wisdom could 
make them; that is, depending upon nature, virtue, thought, and habit. 

Another thing demonstrated Will be the propriety of every man's waiting for his 
time for appearing upon the stage of the world. Our sensations being v«!ry much 
fixed to the moment, we are apt to forget that more moments are to follow the first, 
and consequently that man should arrange his conduct so as to suit the whole of a 
life. Your attribution appears to have been applied to your life, and the ]ias.Hing 
moments of it have been enlivened with content and enjoyment, instea*! of being 
tormented with foolish impatience or regrets. Such a conduct is e.isy for those who 
make virtue and themselves their standard, and who try to keep them.selves in 
countenance by examples of other truly great men, of whom patience is so otlen 
the characteristic. 

Your Quaker correspondent * * * praised your frugality, diligence, and tem- 
perance, which he considered as a pattern for all youth; biitit is aiugular that he 
should have forgotten your modesty and your disinterestedness, without which 
you never could have waited for your advancement or found your situation in the 
meantime comfortable, which is a strong lesson to show the poverty of glory and 
the importance of regulating our minds. If this correspondent had known the nature 
of your reputation as well as I do, he would have said your former writings and 


measures would secure attention to yonr biography and Art of Virtue, and your bi- 
ography and Art of Virtue in return would>secure atteution to them. This is an ad- 
vantage attendant upon a various character and which brings all that belongs to it 
into greater play ; and it is the more useful, as perhaps more persons are at a loss for 
the means of improving their minds and characters than they are for the time or the 
inclination to do it. * * » If it encourages more writings of the same kind with 
your own, and induces more men to spend lives fit to be written, it will be worth all 
Plutarch's Lives put together. • » » Considering your great age, the caution of 
your character, and peculiar style of thinking, it is not likely that anyone besides your- 
self can be sufficiently master of the facts of j'otir life or the intentions of your miud. 

Besides all this, the immense revolution of the present period will necessarily turn 
our attention toward the author of it; and when virtuous principles have been pre- 
tended in it, it will bo highly important to show that such have really influenced; 
and, as your own character will b# the principal one to see a scrutiny, it is i)roper 
even for its effects upon your vast and rising country, as well as upon England and 
upon Europe, that it should stand respectable and eternal. 

For the furtherance of human happiness I have always maintained that it is 
necessary to prove that a mau is not even at present a vicious and detestable animal ; 
and, still more, to prove that good management may greatly am«nd him ; and it is 
for much the same reason that I am anxious to see the opinion established that there 
are fair characters existing among the individuals of the race, for the moment that 
all men, without exception, shall be conceived abandoned, good people will cease 
efforts deemed to be hopeless, and perhaps think of taking their share in the scram- 
ble of life, or at least of making it comfortable principally for themselves. 

Extend your views even further; do not stop at those who speak the English 
tongue, but after having settled so many points in nature and politics, think of bet- 
tering the whole race of men. 

This appeal was turniug the tables on Franklin, and was happily 
effectual in causing him to resume his autobiography at Passy, near 
Paris, in the following year. This letter is almost prophetic of the 
place that Franklin was to hold in American life. Wlio can estimate 
the number of readers of the autobiography, and who can tell how 
many lives have been made useftil by that work? Fifty years ago the 
means for securing an education in America were so imperfect that the 
atitobiography became the great text-book for active minds among the 
young throughout the country, and therc^are few eminent men or women 
in America to-day, GO . years of age and native born, who will not 
place Franklin's Autobiography, not only among the few books that 
helped them, but as the first book that they reatl which opened up a 
possible career in life by self education, and which did for their genera- 
tion even more than Sartor Resartus, or Emerson's Essays, forty years 
ago. Franklin's Autobiography was a book-making book, because his 
life was a book- making life. 

The old Congress of the Confederation seems to have realized the 
value of education in politics, for in 1780 itrequestetl Franklin to make 
a school book of the record of British atrocities in the American war. 
Franklin describes this commission to his English friend Hartley. The 
book was to have "thirty-five prints, designed here by good artists, 
and engraved, each expressing one or more of the different horrid fiicts 
to be inserted in the book, in order to impress the minds of children 


and posterity with a deep seuse of your bloody and iusatiable malice 
and wickedness." But Franklin was not a Eugene Sue; he resolved 
not to proceed in the work, hoping that a reconciliation might take 
place, but added ''every fresh instance of your devilism weakens that 
resolution and makes me abominate the thought of a reunion with such 
a i)eopIe." Perhaps Benjamin Vaughan was wiser than Congress when 
he intimated that Franklin's Autobiography would make a great Amer- 
ican school book. The influence of Franklin on American education 
has been even greater through his Autobiography than through the 
institutions which he founded or which were founded by his followers. 

Franklin w as a prince of democrats. The great feature of his whole 
public policy is well said by Parton to be "to enlighten public opinion 
and to bring enlightened public opinion to bear upon the councils of 
public men." In this lofty effort he was surpassed by none of his con- 
temporaries and has been equaled by few of his successors. 

In 1784 a town of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in its sixth year, 
took upon itself the name of Franklin, and, sending notice of the honor, 
informed Franklin that they would build a suitable tower td their 
church if he would present them with a bell. His famous reply asking 
them to accept a gift of books instead of a bell, " sense being prefera- 
ble to sound," led to the founding of a public library in the town whose 
first books were selected by Dr. Price, at Franklin's request, limiting 
the choice to "such as are most proper to inculcate principles of sound 
religion and just government." Franklin was too busy, probably, to 
make out the list himself, and recommended, at the instance of his sis- 
ter, Stennet's Discourse on Personal Religion. The books selected by 
Dr. Price were presented to the town; they suggest the ruling ideas of 
the period and most of them have been put upon the high shelves in 
the modern library.^ 

'They were as follows: Clarke's Works; Hoadley's Works; Barrow's Works; 
Ridgeley's Works ; Locke's Works; Sidney's Works ; Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws; 
Blackstone's Commentaries; Watson's Tracts; Newton ou the Prophecies; Law on 
Religion; Priestley's Institutes ; Priestley's Corruptions; Price and Priestley; Lynd- 
sey's Apology; Lyudsey's Sequel; Abemethy's Sermons; Duchals Sermons ; I»ric<«'8 
Morals; Price on Providence ; Price on Liberty; Price's Sermons; I'riceon the Chris- 
tian Scheme; Needhara's P'ree^tate ; West and Lyttleton ou the Resurrection ; Sten- 
net's Sermons; Addison's Evidences; Gordon's Tacitus; Backus's History; Lardner 
ontheLogas; Watts'a Orthodoxy aud Charity; Brainertl's Life; Bellamy's True 
Religion; Doddridge's Life; Bellamy's Permission of Sin ; Fordyce's Sermons ; Hem- 
monway against Hopkins; Hopkins on Holiness; Life of Cromwell; Fulfilling of 
the Scriptures; Watts on the Passions; Watts's Logic; Edwards on Religion; Dick- 
inson on the Five Points; Christian History; Prideaux's Connections; Cooper on 
Predestination; Cambridge Platform; Stoddard's Safety of Appearing ; Burkett on 
Personal Reformation; Barnard's Sermons; Shepard's Soun«l Believer; History of 
the Rebellion; Janeway's Life; Hopkin's System; American Preacher ; Emmons's 
Sermons; Thomas's Laws of Massachusetts ; American Constitutions ; Young's Night 
Thoughts; Pilgrim's Progress ; Ames's Orations; Spectators; Life of Baron Trenk; 
Cheap Repository; Moral Repository; Fitch's Poems; Erskine's Sermons. 


It was about this time that Franklin's uaine begins to appear upon 
the map of the United States, in the State of Frankland (Tennessee), 
in counties and in towns.^ 

The last official act done by Franklin in Europe was the affixing" of 
his signature to the treaty with Prussia, which contained what was 
considered at that time a novel proposition, but one to which Franklin 
was devoted, and which he was instrumental in introducing, laying it 
down that free ships make free goods, and securing private property 
from seizure and destruction in time of war. Washington spoke of 
this treaty as marking a new era in negotiation, but its liberal princi- 
ples have not yet won full recognition in diplomacy.^ 

Franklin's return voyage in 1785, continuing seven weeks, gave him 
another opportunity for experiment, and it was at this time that he 
wrote his elaborate paper, in the form of- a letter to David LeRoy, on 
the construction, sailing, loading, provisioning, and saving of ships, 
and the winds, currents, and temperature of the sea, with twenty-seven 
illustrations and sea charts, and six tables of thermometrical observa- 
tions. • It was the eighth time that Franklin had crossed the Atlantic, 
and was productive of one of his most useful suggestions, the con- 
struction of water-tight comi)artments in ships, which has come into 
common use since his day. Franklin took the idea from the Chinese, 
with whose habits his wide reading had acquainted him.^ 

On his return to Philadelphia, after his long absence in France, he 
received congratidatory addresses from the assembly of Pennsylvania 
and from the provost, vice-provost, and i>rofessors of the University of 
Pennsylvania, which he had been instrumental in founding. The ad- 
dress of the provost and his associates is as follows : 

Honored Sir: The provost, vice-provost, and professors of the University of 
Pennsylvania beg leave to congratulate you on your safe arrival in your native 
country after having accomplished the duties of your exalted character with dignity 
and success. * 

While we participate in the general happiness of America, to the establishmectof 
which your political abilities and patriotic exertions have so signally contributed, 
we feel a particular pleasure in paying our acknoAvledgments to the gentlemnn who 
first projected the liberal plan of the institution over which we have the honor to 

Not contented with enriching the world with the-most important discoveries in 
natural philosophy, your benevolence and liberality of sentiment early engaged you 
to make provision for exciting a spirit of inquiry into the secret operations of na- 
ture, for exalting and refining the genius of America by the propagation of useful 
learning, and for qualifying many of her sons to make that illustrious figiire which 
has commanded the esteem and admiration of the most polished nations of JJurope. 

Among the many benevolent projections which have laid so ample a foundation 
for the esteem and gratitude of your native country permit this seminary to reckon 

' See p. 163. ' 

-See John Adams's Criticism. 

'The paper was afterwards read at a meeting of the American Philosophical Soci- 
ety, December 2, 1785, and is found in volume IX of Bigelow's edition of Franklin's 


her first establishment, upon the solid principles uf eqnal liberty, as one of the moet 
considerable and important. And now, when restored, through the influence of our 
happy Constitution, to her original broad and catholic bottom; when enriched by 
the protection of generous donations of a public-spirited and patriotic assembly ; 
and -when flourishing under the countenance of the best friends of religion, learning, 
and liberty in the State, she can not but promise herself the continued patronage of 
the evening of that life Avh'ich divine Providence lias so eminently distinguished. 

May the same indulgent Providence yet continue your protracted life, enriched 
and croAvncd with the best of blessings, to nurse and cherish this favorite child of 
your youth, that the future sous of science in this western world may have addi- 
tional reason to remember the name of Franklin with gratitude and pleasure. 

Signed, in the name and by order of the faculty, by — 

John Ewino, Provott. 

Philadelphia, September 16, 1785. 


I am greatly obliged, gentlemen, by your kind congratulations on my safe arrival. 

It gives me extreme pleasure to find that seminaries of learning are increasing in 
America, and particularlj- that the University over which you preside continues to 
flourish. My best wishes will always attend it. 

The instruction of youth is one of those employments which, to the public, are 
most useful. It ought, therefore, to he esteemed among the most honorable. Its 
successful exercise does not^ however, always meet with the reward it merits except 
in the satisfaction of having contributed to the forming of virtuous and able men 
for the service of their country. 

The address is sufficient evidence of the recognition of Franklin's 
services to education at the time and of the friendly relations which 
existed between him and the University; he was still one of its trustees. 
The minutes of the meetings of the board of trustees show that he had 
always attended them when he was present in the country. The proof 
of his presence is his signature, as it was customary for each member 
of the board present at a meeting to attest his presence by signing the 

On liis return to Philadelphia he was almost unanimously elected 
president of the Commonwealth and was inducted into office with much 
ceremony, the chief officers of the State and city government, the pro- 
vost and faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, the militia and the 
citizens joining in the exercises. Like Washington, Franklin accepted 
the cares of the presidency but refused the salary, acting in conformity 
with his well-known principles that in a representative democracy the 
most valuable offices should have no salaries. The money he would 
have received as the emolument of his office as president of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania he gave towards the founding of colleges 
and other useful institutions in the State. 

By successive elections he was three times inaugiuated president of 
the Commonwealth. His countrymen had come to recognize Franklin 
as the natural patron of every enterprise of a literary or philanthropic 
character, and it Avas during his presidency, in 1786, that a general plan 
of a college in the borough of Lancaster, Pa., was presented to the 


general assembly and approved. Thus, out of respect to the character 
"of His Excellency, the President of the State," the institution was 
called Franklin College. 

On the 6th of June, 1787, the college was formally opened. It had 
been founded in consideration of the wants of the German population 
in Pennsylvania, and was under the contiol of the Lutheran church.' 
Of the exercises* at the opening of the college the Rev: J. H. uubbs, 
D. D., has given an interesting account in his article on the founding 
of Franklin College, in the Reform Quarterly Review for October, 1887.' 

The question whether Benjamin Franklin was personally present at this festival 
has recently received some attention. That he was in Lancaster at some time in the 
year 1787, on an occasion which has been denominated "the laying of the comer- 
stone," appears to be a fact which is beyond reasonable question. A Freu(;h writer, 
Hector St. John Crevffcceur, has pre.served a record of the event in his book of 
travels, in which he says, as quoted by Duyckinck's Cyclopedia of American 
Literature: " lu the year 1787 I accompanied the venerable Franklin, at that time 
governor of Pennsylvania, on a journey to Lancaster, ;vhere ho had been invited to 
lay the corner-stone of a college which he had founded there for the Germans. In 
the evening of the day oi the ceremony we were talking of the different nations 
which inhabit the continent." The writer then proceeds to give the substance of a 
conversation between Franklin and one of the principal residents of the town, con- 
cerning the origin of the American Indians. 

The above statement appears to be suflScieutly clear and explicit; but in order to 
make assurance doubly sure, the Rev. Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg has kindly examined 
the original authorities. In a private letter of July 27, 1887, he says: "I found a 
copy of Duyckinck's ' Cyclopedia' in the Mercantile Library, and on page 175, as 
you mentioned, the exact words of your quotation. There was, however, no copy 
of the original work. I was not altogether satisfied. I went next to the Philadel- 
phia Library and found an edition of Hector St. John Crevecoeur, in French, into 
which it had bern translated by the author. In the second chapter I found the same 
in substance with that given by Duyckinck, and the conversation with one of the 
citizens of the ' ville ' on the subject of the Indians of this country. The conversa- 
tion is said to have taken i)lace after the ceremonies. The words used by Mr. 
Crevecoeur for the corner-stone are ' la premiere pierre.' Such an explicit state- 
ment, Avith such details, could ijot be questioned. No man Avould, in the posses- 
sion of reason, sittempt to deceive the world in such a fashion. Besides, in the 
other parts of his work, consisting of three volumes, in this edition, he gives dr 
scriptions of our country, with engravings, which prove that he was an eye-witnc.-- 
of what he describes, and his truthful ch.aracter. Still farther, all the books on 
bibliography represent him as a reliable author. Dr. Franklin was, therefore, in 
Lancaster, at what Mr. Crevecoeur calls the laying of tlje ' premiere pierre,' in the 
year 1787." 

'In the exercises attending the opening of the college, Franklin, it is said, was 
especially pleased to see Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Mora 
vians, and Quakers, all join harmoniously in the celebration. 

•Of these exercises the Abbe Morellet wrote to Franklin from Anteuil, July 31, 
1787: "In the dedication of yoJir college in the county of Lancaster and the tine 
procession and the religious ceremony where were met together Presbyterians, Epis- 
copalians, Lutherans, Catholics, Moravians, e tuUi qitanti, there was toleration in 

'See reprint, The Founding of Franklin College, 1787, by Rev. J. H. Dubbs, D. D., 
from the Reformed Quarterly Review, Philadelphia Reformed Church Publication 
Board, 907 Arch street. 


It is not probable that the occaMioii to which reference is hero ma<le was literally 
the laying of the corner-stone, as the college had no building of its own until a 
later period. Of course, there might have been a minor festival of some sort, prior 
to the formal opening in June; but if this was the case it is strange that there is no 
reference to the fact in the correspondence of the times. It is, after all, most likely 
that Crevecoeur refers to the formal opening or so-called "dedication," and that 
this was the occasion on which Franklin was present. The fact, it is true, is no- 
where explicitly stated, but there are many circumstances which render it probable. 
Franklin's name was frequently mentioned throughout the services, in away which 
appears to have presupposed his presence. In each of the three original hymns 
he is spoken of with the highest reverence, and in one of them the college is termed 
" his child." The prayer delivered on the occasion by the Rev, Mr. Herbst closes 
with an intercession for " the noble Protector of the college, his Excellency Benja- 
min Franklin." Dr, Muhlenberg says, "I think it can be fairly inferred from the 
connection in which it stands and the peculiar prominence given to it, that His Ex- 
cellency must have been present." 

It has, indeed, been asserted that it was impossible for Dr. Franklin to have been 
in Lancastw, on account of his engagements in the Constitutional Convention in 
Philadelphia. On this subject Dr. Muhlenberg says, in the letter from which we 
have so freely quoted, "I have examined Madison's, Elliott's, and Yates's Reports, 
and one other, the author of which I do not now remember. I find that Dr. J'^ank- 
lin is reported by one and all of these authorities as present at the Constitutional 
Convention on Saturday and Monday, the 2d and 4th of June, taking part also in the 
proceedings, but there is no mention of his name or allusion to him on Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday, the 6th, 7th, and 8th of June, but on Saturday, 9th, his 
name again appears. Here is a margin to render it probable that he was absent 
for cause." 

A hundred years after the founding of Franklin College, on the oc- 
casion of the centennial anniversary of the foundation of Franklin and 
Marshall College, an address on Franklin was delivered by William 
Pepper, m. d., ll. d., provost of the University of Pennsylvania.' 
There was a preeminent fitness in the choice of Dr. Pepper, the pro- 
vost of the University which Franklin founded, and who has been in- 
strumental in carrying out the essentials of Franklin's ideas as they 
apply to higher education. In the course of his address, Dr. Pepi)er 

Franklin was admirably equipped as a popular teacher. Long study of the best 
models of English prose, aided by his fine literary sense, gave him a style unsur- 
passed for clearness and directness; while his rich vein of humor, his command of 
satire, of anecdote, and of terse, sententious phrase, enabled him to convey large 
truths in such portable and attractive forms that his teachings soon spread far and 
wide and fixed themselves in the memory and speech of men. But here, as in all 
cases, that which gave most weight to his teachings were the character and the life 
of the teacher. 

He made the newspaper press a power for good, as it had never been before; and 
he set tbe example, and adhered to it throughout his editorial career, of preserving 
the columns of his paper free from all libeling and personal abuse, and all pursey- 
ing to the prurient taste of a section of the community. 

He was ever ready to recognize a public need, whether of school or library or 
hospital, and to devote his time, his energy, his money to supplying the deficiency. 

'Dr. Pepper, on this occasion, in a happy imitation of Franklin in 1791, gave 
$1,000 to Franklin and Marshall College. 
1180 8 


No mau can carry through such public moveuients who is not himself liberal, and 
who does not give his full share in every way to support the enterprise. While the 
author of "Poor Richard" taught all classes alike the value of money, the duty of 
economy, the pride of independence,-and the nobility of labor, and often by language 
or simile which may be misconstrued so as to advocate parsimony, the same self- 
taught, self-made was incessant in all good and liberal deeds. 

He recognized early the advantages of cooperation, and his treatment of deserving 
workmen is a suggestive point in the history of the relations of capital and labor. 
Our greatest problem of to-day has to deal with these relations. , Our very prosjierity 
forces it into greater prominence. The liberty and political rights of the individual 
give to it unprecedented urgency and importance. It may not be settled by force, 
nor by legislation, nor even by the church; but I believe it Avill be settled peace- 
fully and lawfully, and to the mutual advantage of all concerned, by a wide exten- 
sion of the princiiiles of organized cooperation, based upon a humane yet shrewd 
calculation of tbe self-interest of both- parties to the bargain ; and I am glad to be- 
lieve that as Franklin would have delighted to aid in consummating this his sjiirit 
and the influence of his teachings yet survive among us to assist in its realization 
and to remind us that toil, thrift, and temperance, with true humanity, are the key- 
notes of the successful solution of this great problem. 

Lord Brougham wrote : "One of the most remarkable men, certainly of our times, 
as a politician, or of any age as a philosopher, was Franklin, who also stands alone 
in combining together these two characters, the greatest that man can sustain, and 
in this, that having borne the first part in enlarging science by one of the greatest 
discoveries ever made, he bore the second part in founding one of the greatest empires 
in the world." A mere enumeration of the notable scientific publications of Franklin 
would be too large for my purpose. All that it behooves us to do is to strive to ap- 
preciate the cfuality of this work, and the fact that it was done without encourage- 
ment or assistance, with the simplest self-made apparatus, and in the midst of dis- 
tracting and absorbing business or jiolitical affairs. A keen observer by nature, he 
had trained himself to such incessant activity of mind and to the employment of so 
pure an inductive method that scarce anything escaped him, and every phenomenon 
observed started a train of philosophic rea.soning so clear, so direct, and so well con- 
fined to the limits of the probable and demonstrable, that he was capable of securing 
astonishing scientific results with means apparently inadequate. The only period of 
his life when he gave himself up in any sense to scientific investigation, the only 
period during which he was not distinctively engaged in some other absorbing pur- 
suit, were the five years, 1747 to 1752, Avhen he began to enjoy the leisure earned by 
hard but profitable work. All know the outcome of this investigation, and that the 
discoveries made by Franklin in electricity, from their entire originality, the breadth 
and boldness of the generalization upon which they were based, the accuracy and 
conclusive nature of the experiments by which the hypotheses were established, the 
important practical results indicated by him, and the still more important results 
which have followed the further prosecution of the same study, have conferred im- 
mortality upon him, and placed him in the front rank of the natural philosophers 
of all times. 

Our amazement can not be restrained when we reflect that this work was accom- 
plished l>efore he was 47 years of age, and that never again did he, who was then 
incomparably the most eminent American, and whose rank iimong European celeb- 
rities speedily rose to the highest point, have an opportunity of apjilyiug himself 
continuously to scientific research, although from that time to his death, at the age 
of 84, ho continued to produce remarkable scientific papers containing original 
observations or striking generalizations, showing that the pliilosophic faculty was 
in vigorous action. It is idle to speculate upon what results might have followed a 
continuance of Franklin's scientific investigations. It has been granted to but few 
men to arrive at even a single discovery of ^uch importance as that on which his 


scientific fame chiefly rests; but in fertility of mind, originality of suggeMtion, and 
prolonged iatellectual and bodily vigor Fninklin appearH to stand unrivaled. 

We may more reasonably dwell on the joy it Avould give him could he return to 
see the position attained by his favorite branch of science, and to note that it is 
growing to be more and more the useful and reliable servant of man, ministering to 
his daily. Avants and rendering life more enjoyable and more healthy. But still more 
would he rejoice to see the laboratories erected in all parts of the land, equipped 
with every aitplianco for scientific investigation, and crowded with earnetit, inge- 
nious students, for some of Avhom fame holds high honors. He would feel, and with 
just pride, that to him more than to any other man, is due the splendid development 
of the scientific spirit and of scientific education in America, and that the institu- 
tions, the societies, and the libraries he founded or whoso foundation he stimulated, 
are carrying forward and diffusing with ever-increasing force the precious light of 
scientific truth Avhich he kindled here. 

Franklin hated war. He hated it as a Christian, a philanthropi/pt, and an econo- 
mist. He hated unjust taxation scarcely less. To the familiar accusations against 
these he added one, possibly original with himself,' and at least very characteristic 
of him. He charged them both with the crime of preventing the birth of children, 
the one by the downright murder of many men, the other by the interference with 
the normal ratio of marriages, whoso possible services to the world are unknown 
and Avell nigh infinite. And this veneration for the possibilities of the young lay 
at the root of his ardent advocacy of education equally with his belief in the con- 
servatism and elevating influence of all sound knowledge. " What is the use of this 
new invention?" some one asked Franklin. '' What is the use of anew-born child t" 
was his reply. What, indeed, has not been the use of the loom or the steam engine — 
what not the precious value of a Howard, a Newton, a Franklin ? 

I have alluded to Franklin's work as a moralist, a statesman, and a scientist; it 
would be strange, indeed, if I were not to speak here of him as an educator and as a 
philanthropist. He was essentially a self-educated man, and he has left us a charm- 
ing account of the methods he pursued in educating himself. Some may imagine 
that much of his characteristic strength and iisefulness came from these lessons of 
early hardship. To me there certainly seems no ground for any such conclusion, in 
this or other cases, and he certainly did not hold that view. To assert that a great 
man who has educated himself is greater on that account involves improbable 
assumptions. The number of very great men is extremely small. They occur at 
irregular intervals of time and space. When one such occurs, who in addition to 
the other qualities of real greatness, has the added rare (luality of determination to 
improve himself to the utmost, we have the condition produced of a lad with an 
elective course of studies secured under the most unfavorable surroundings. I->ank- 
lin was preeminently such a lad. But while here and there lads of rare qnalitiee, 
but lacking educational facilities, surmount all obstacles and achieve greatness, the 
world can never know how many ftiil to attain their legitimate development. It is 
true that under no system of education can we expect to produce many such men a« 
Goethe, who graduated at Strasburg; or Voltaire, who studied at the celebrated 
Jesuit College of I^ouis le Grand; or Newton, who was an M. A. of Trinity College, 
CambrMge; or Franklin, who was strictly self-educated. But still less can we 
expect to produce under any one fixed, unvarying educational plan even as many as 
should api>ear. No system of education should be devised for the benefit of the«e 
rare and exceptional natures; but it is among the positive advantages of a well- 
arranged elective system of studies that, while it provides for the dull and lazy, it 
affords the freest facility for the development and expansion of the gifted and the 
industrious. It is not surprising, therefore, that Franklin, having found in his 
own case that excellent results were attained by the thorough mastery of English, 
followed by a study of other nu}dern languages, before taking up the classics, 
should have been led to the conclusion that such is the natural and best course. 


Probably all are familiar with the interesting historj'^ of the University of Penn- 
sylvania. It had its origin in the Academy of Philadelphia, which was founded in 
1749 through the exertions of Franklin. In the tract which he published at that 
time, entitled " ProposJils relating to the education of youth in Pennsylvania," he 
remarks: "The good education of youth has been esteemed by wise men in all ages 
as surest foundation of the happiness both of private families and of pomnion- 
wealths," and then proceeds to describe with much detail the course of study pro- 
posed. It is noteworthy that he gives a foremost place to athletics, providing 
"that the scholars be freqtiently exercised in running, leaping, wrestling, and 
swimming, to keep them in health, and to strengthen and render active their 
bodies." In this he anticijiated the systematic instruction in athletics which has 
been introduced into our academies and colleges only recently, and after much un- 
reasoning and ignorant opposition. Especial stress is laid on the fullness and 
thoroughness with which English is to be taught to all students, while in regard to 
other languages the following is provided: "All intended for divinity shall bo 
taught the Latin and Greek ; for jihysics, the Latin, Greek, and French ; for law, the 
Latin and French; merchants, the French, German, and Spanish; and though all 
should not be compelled to learn Latin, Greek, or tlie modern foreign languages, yet 
none that have an ardent desire to learn them should be refused, their English, 
arithmetic, and other studies absolutely necessary being at the same time not neg- 
lected." It is needless to point out Avith what clearness the fundamental principle 
of elective studies is here recognized, and how thoroughly in accord his conclusions 
as to the study of languages are with those which are now at last coming gradually 
to be adopted generally. What followed in the history of the academy (later the 
university) may be mentioned briefly, because, if I mistake not, an analogous ex- 
perience was repeated here in the early days of Franklin College. So little heed 
was given to the proposals of the original founders, as to the preeminent position to 
be held by English studies, that the classicists gradually acquired control of the 
entire system of education in the institution, and in 1789, the year before Franklin's 
death, we iind him publishing a spirited and forcible protest against a continuance 
of this perversion of the original trust. It is here that the familiar passage occurs, 
"at what time hats were first introduced we know not, but in the last century they 
were universally Avorn throughout Europe. Gradually, however, as the wearing of 
wigs and hair nicely dressed prevailed, the putting on of hats was disused by 
genteel people, lest the curious arrangement of curls and powdering should be dis- 
ordered, and umbrellas began to supply the place; yet still, our considering the hat 
as a part of dress continues so far to prevail that a man of fashion is not thought 
dressed without having one, or something like one, about him, which he carries 
under his arm. So that there are a multitude of the politer people in all the courts 
and capital cities of Europe who have never, or their fathers before them, worn a 
hat otherwise than as a chapeau hras, though" the utility of such a mode of wearing 
it is by no means apparent, and it is attended not only with some expense, but with 
a little degree of constant trouble. The still prevailing custom of having schools 
for teaching generally our children in these days the Latin and Greek languages I 
consider, therefore, in no other light than as a chapeau hras of modern literature." 
It is not impossible that the estrangement of many of the original patrotis and 
trustees of the college, brought about by this departure from the proposed plan, 
may have aided, to some extent, in causing the house of assembly to arbitrarily with- 
draw the charter and estates of the college, thus causing a disastrous interference 
with its work during several years. And now, after the lapse of a centurj^, Ave see,' 
as well in the l^niversity of Pennsyh'ania as in other prominent' colleges, success 
beginning to crown the efforts of those who woiild insist on a thorough and adA'anced 
study of English as one of the essentials for all English-speaking students, while 
arranging the other languages — Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German, French, Italian — in 
associated elective groups. 


But Franklin's deep interest in education was not coniined to the great institution 
of whicli he had been the founder; nor was his zeal abated by an absence in foreign 
I Dimtries at dift'eient times for nearly thirty years, nor even by the atUinnient of 
t he full limit of fourscore years. For a long time ho had taken great interest in the 
w tlfai'e of the Germans, who formed the bulk of the population in some parttt of 
I'liuisylvania. He aided in the establishment of schools for them, and served oh a 
tiustee of a societj^for the benefit of the poor among them; and in 1787, although in 
Ills 81st year, he was active in the promotion of the long-cherished scheme of fouud- 
inj^ a college for the education of young Germans. On Marcli 10 of that year, 1787, 
an act was passed by the assembly incorporating and endowing the "German Col- 
. lege and Cliarity School, in the borougli and county of Lancaster," in which act it 
is recited that the college is established for the instruction of youth in the German, 
English, Latin, Greek, and other learned languages in theology, and in the useful 
I arts, sciences, and literature. " The same act of incorporation states that, from a pro- 
found respect for the talents, virtues, and services to mankind in general, but more 
I specially to this country, of his Excellency Benjamin Franklin, esq., president of the 
supreme executive council, the said college shall be and hereby is denominated 
•' Franklin College." Franklin was the largest contributor to its funds, giving of 
his moderate fortune the sum of $1,000, which may be considered large for those 
ilays ; and still more, when in the spring of 1787 the corner stone was to be laid in 
Lancaster, he underwent the pain and fatigue of a journey thither in order to per- 
form that ceremony. 

In the year 1787 Franklin became a member of the convention which 
framed the Constitution of the United States; of his speeches and in- 
lluence in the convention we will make mention in considering his ideas 
as illustrated in his writings; he was somewhat of a physiocrat in the 
convention, and his ideas were in favor of a hberal government, not 
tending to monarchy, nor so big as to fall into anarchy. He was the 
diplomat in the convention, and typified the controlling idea of compro- 
mise, which at last gave us our Constitution. 

During the closing years of his life we have glimpses of the persist- 
< iicy of the ideas formulated by him many years before. The well 
Iciiown account of Dr. Manasseh Cutler's visit to him in July, 1787, re- 
cords the interest which Dr. Franklin still had in natural history: "of 
which," says Dr. Cutler, "he seemed extremely fond, while the other 
ucntlemen were swallowed up with politics." 

When, on the 17th of September, the convention adjourned, Franklin 
txerted himself, to promote the adoption of the Constitution by the 
States. Its adoption by ten States occasioned a splendid celebration in 
IMiiladelphia in honor of the event, when all the interests of the city 
contributed to an industrial and civic parade. James Wilson, a dele- 
gate in the convention from Pennsylvania, eminent as a lawyer, whose 
services in the convention Washington considered as unsurpassed, and 
M'honi Bryce, in his American Commonwealth, has called ''the greatest 
lawyer in the convention," professor of law in the University of Penn- 
sylvania, and later justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 
pronounced an oration. In the industrial parade there was drawn a 
car upon which was operated a printing press, and from this press was 
scattered among the people a song in honor of the trades, written by 


Franklin, and suggestive of liis utilitarian notions. Some of tlie 
stanzas as given by Parton' are: 

Ye tailors ! of am-ient aud noble reuowu, 
Who clothe all the people in country aud town, 
Remember that Adam, your father and head, 
Though Lord of the world, was a tailor by trade. 

Ye shoemakers ! noble from ages long past, 
Have defended your rights witli your aivl to the last; 
, . Aud cobblers so merry, not only stop holes, 

But work night and day for the good of our soles. 

Ye hatters ! who oft with hands not very fair. 
Fix hats on a block for a blockhead to wear ; 
Though charity covers a sin now and then, 
Youvsover the heads and the sins of all men. 

And carders, aiul spiuuera, and weavers attend. 
And take the advice of Poor Richard, your friend. 
Stick close to your looms, your wheels, and your card. 
And you never need fear of the times being hard. 

Ye coopers ! who rattle with drivers and adz, 
A lecture each day upon hoops and on heads. 
The famous old ballad of Love in a Tub, 
You may sing to the tune of your rub-a-dub-dub. 

Each tradesman turn out with his tools in his hand. 
To cherish the arts and keep peace in the land ; 
Each 'prentice and journeyman may join in my song. 
And let the brisk chorus go bounding along. 

The lines suggest how Franklin viewed the world as an opportunity 
for an industrious and intelligent apprentice. 

Three times did the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania make Franklin 
its president, an honor which greatly gratified him. 

Old age had crept upon him but his mental powers were undimin- 
i.shed, and his opinion of himself he expressed when he said, "I seem to 
have intruded myself into the company of posterity." 

'There is an interesting and perhaps curious illustration of changes in times and 
manners in a passage by Parton concerning the things which Franklin would par- 
ticularly notice had he returned to this world twenty-flve years ago. "He some- 
times amused his friends with humorous jiredictions of inventi(ms yet to be aud ex- 
pressed a wish to revisit the earth at the end of the century to see how man was 
getting on. Would that he couhl. How pleasant to show the shade of Franklin 
about the modem world. What would he say of the Great Eastern, the Erie Canal, 
the locomotive, the telegraph, the Hoe printing press, the steam typesetter, chloro- 
form, the sewing machine, the Continental Hotel, the Fairmount waterworks, the 
improved strawberry, the omnibus, gus light, the sanitary commission. Dr. Buckle's 
History, Mill's Political Economy, Herbert Spencer's First Principles, Adam Bede, 
David Coppertield. the Philadelpliia High School, Henry Ward Beecher's church, 
the Heart of the Andes! Surely he ^ould admit that we have done pretty well iu 
the seventy-five years that have passed since he left."— Editok. 


He approaclied his death with calmness, and if he had neglected to 
practice order in his life, he made an orderly preparation for his death. 
His will, an elaborate document, sought to perpetuate in its provisions 
of a public nature the utilitarian ideas of its author. He seemed to 
have remembered his scheme of prizes in his sketch of an English 
school, and gave £100 to the managers of the Boston free schools, the 
interest of which was to be devoted to the purchase of silver medals 
for the encouragement of scholarship in these schools. He sought to 
make his benevolence immortal; it is said that his scheme is derived 
from a French work by Mathon de la Cour, but the idea is probably 
his own, as he had suggested in his loan to Benjamin Webb: 

I send you herewith a hill for ten louis tl'ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum; 
I only lend it to yon; When you shall return to your country with a good character, 
you ran not fail of getting into some business that will in time enable yoti to pay all 
your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar dis- 
tress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him ; enjoining him to discharge the 
debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another 
opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands, before it meets with a 
knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good 
with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am 
obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. 

Franklin's plan was for the benefit of artisan's and apprentices, and 
illustrates the utilitarian tendency of his life. It was as follows : 

I have considered that among artisans good apprentices are most likely to make 
gOod citizens, and having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my native 
town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of 
money from two friends there, which was the foundation of my fortune, and of all 
the utility in life that may be ascribed to me, I wish to be useful even after my 
death, if possible, in forming and advancing other young men, that may be service- 
able to their country in both those towns. To this end I devote two thousand pounds 
sterling, of which I give one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of Bos- 
ton, in Massachusetts, and the other thoiisand to the inhabitants of the city of Phil- 
adelphia, in trust, "to and for the uses, intents, and purposes hereinafter mentioned 
and declared. 

The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of 
the town of Boston, shall bo managed under the direction of the selectmen, nnited 
with the ministers of the oldest Episcopalian, Congregational, and Presbyterian 
churches in that town, who are to let out the same upon interest at five per cent per 
annum to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as have 
served an apprenticeship in the said town, and faithfully fulfilled the duties required 
in their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral character from at least two respect- 
able citizens, who are willing to become their sureties, in a bond with the applicants, 
for the repayment of the moneys so lent, with interest, according to the terms here- 
inafter prescribed ; all of which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or 
the value thereof in current gold coin; and the managers shall keep a bound book or 
books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply for and receive 
the benefits of this institution, and of their securities, together with the smns lent, 
the dates, and other necessary and proper records respecting the business and con- 
cerns of this institution. And as these loans are intended to assist young married 
artificers in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned, by the discretion 
of the managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, nor to be 
less than fifty pounds; and if the number of appliers so entitled should be so large 
as that the sum will not suflfice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be 


improper, the proportion to each flhall l»e (liininisbecl, so us to a fiord to every one 
8ome afisistance. These aids may, therefore, be small at first, but, as the capital in- 
creases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And, iu order to 
serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the prin- 
cipal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be obliged to pay, with the yearly in- 
terest, one tenth part of the principal, which sums of the principal and interest, so 
paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrowers. 

And, as it is presumed that there will always be found in Boston virtuous and 
benevolent citizens, willing to bestow a part of their time in doing good to the ris- 
ing generation, by superintending and managing this institution gratis, it is hoped 
that no part of the money will, at any time be t^ead or be diverted to other purposes, 
but be continually augmenting by the interest; in which case there may, in time, be 
more than the occasion in Boston shall require, and then some may be spared to the 
neighboring or other towns in the said State of Massachusetts, who may desire to 
have it; such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the portions of the 
principal annually to the inhabitants of the town of Boston. 

If this plan is executed, and succeeds as projected without interruption, for one 
hundred years, the sum will then be one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds ; 
of which I would have the managers of the donation to the town of Boston then 
lay out at their discretion one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which 
may be judged of the most general utility to the inhabitants; such as fortifications, 
bridges, aqueducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make 
living in the town more convenient to its people, and render it more agreeable to 
strangers resorting thither for health or a temporary residence. The remaining 
thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on interest, in the 
manner above directed for another hundred years, as I hope it will have been found 
that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of 
service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second 
term, if no unfortunate accident has prevented the operation, the sum will be four 
millions and sixty-one thousand pounds sterling ; of which I leave one million sixty- 
one thousand pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of the towh of Boston, 
and three millions to the disposition of the government of the State, not presuming 
to carry my views further. 

All the directions herein given respecting the disposition and management of the 
donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to 
the inhabitants of Philadelphia only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the 
corporation of that city to undertake the management, agreeably to tho said direc- 
tions; and I do hereby vest them with fully and ample powers for that purpose." 

Such wa» the plan adopted by Franklin, for the benefit of a class he 
always lovetl— skillful, honest mechanics. We shall have to state, by 
and by, what success has attended the benevolent project. 

In 1789 he was rarely free from pain and was confined to his bed 
much of the time; we learn of him by his letters, which though less 
frequent, were equal to any that have made his correspondence so 
valuable and interesting. Though suffering great agony he attempts 
mental relief in reading Johnson's Lives of the Poets, and a life of 
Watts, his favorite author. His opinion of Watts anticipated the 
judgment of thousands who have found that poet their comfort. It 
was at this time also that he wrote his protest against the study of 
Latin and Greek in preference to the study of Euglish,i in which, as 
we have said, he anticipated the reforms in modern education. 

' See observations relating to the intentions of the original founders of the 
Academy, in Philadelphia, June, 1789. Supra. 


In August, 1787, the Library Company, ^ the outgrowth of the Junto 
of half a century before, laid the corner- stoue of its new building in 
Philadelphia on Fifth street, opposite the State House- 
Franklin, unable on account of his infirmities to attend the ceremony, 
wrote the inscription for the corner-stone, omitting any mention of him- 
self. The committee amended the inscription, which reads : 

Be it remembered 

In honor of the Philadelphia Youth, 

(then chiefly artificers) 

that in MDCCXXXI., 

they cheerfully, 

at the instance of Benjamin Franklin, 

one of their number, 

instituted the Philadelphia Library, 

which, though small at first, 

is become highly valuable and extensively useful 

and which the walls of this edifice 

are now destined to contain and preserve, 

the first stone of whose foundation 

was here placed, 

the thirty-first day of August, 1789.2 

Perhaps no institution founded by Franklin illustrates his sagacity 
and usefulness better than the Philadelphia Library. We referred 
briefly to its origin in the Junto. In 1880 a new library building was 
erected at the corner of Juniper and Locust streets, and in 1878 the 
magnificent structure known as the Eidgeway Branch at Broad and 
Christian was erected. The report of the Library Company in May, 
1892, shows that during the year then ending there had been at the 
Locust street building 77,397 visitors on week days, 41,361 books had 
been taken out, and that there had been 6,074 visitors on Sundays 
who had asked at the desk for 5,387 books. At the Ridgeway Branch 
there had been on week days 3,325 visitors, 1,329 books had been given 
out, and 4,490 had been used in the Library, and on Sundays there had 
been 1,561 visitors, using 856 books. The volumes added to the 
Ridgeway Branch, to the Logauian Library, and to the Library Com- 
pany, for the Locust Street building was 4,296, making a total number 
of books in the Library of 166,714 volumes. The receipts of the Li- 
brary Company for 1891-'92 were $68,665.56 and the balance carried 
forward to the credit of the Company for the year in the treasury was 
$18,165.67. This magnificent showing illustrates the splendid out- 
growth of Franklin's idea in founding a circulating library which 
started in 1732 with a membership of 12 persons and a voluntary con- 
tribution of some fifty books. 

' By an order of the directors of the Library Company, August 31, 1774, the dele- 
gates to the first Continental Congress were allowed the use of such of the books of 
the library as they might have occasion for during the sitting. (Elliots Debates, 
Vol. I, 43). 

'The original stone was discovered a few years ago, and is now set iu the north 
wall of the Library building, Locust and Juniper streets. 


The last public act of Franklin was in keeping with his whole phil- 
osophy of life; it was his reply, written on the 23d of March, 1790, but 
liG days before his death, to a speech of Mr. Jackson in the Congress 
of the United States, on slavery. It was addressed to the edit-or of 
the Federal Gazette, and is in Franklin's happiest style. The essay 
pretended to be a speech delivered in the Divan of Algiers in 1687, 
against the petition of the sect called Urika or Purists who prayed for 
the abolition of piracy and slavery as being unjust. All the arguments 
advanced in favor of negro slavery were applied in this speech with equal 
force in the justification of the plundering and enslaving of Europeans. 
" Dr. Stuber, a distinguished Philadelphian of that day," says Parton, 
'' mentions that many persons searched the book stores and libraries of 
the town for 'Martin's Account of his Consulship, anno 1687,' from 
which the speech of Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim was said to have been 

This grand protest against slavery was a happy bequest of Franklin 
to mankind. From his persuasion — 

That equal liberty waB originally the portion, and is still the birth-right, of all 
men, and influenced by the strong ties of humanity, and the principles of their insti- 
tution • • * to use all justifiable endeavors to loosen the bands of slavery, and 
promote a general enjoyment of the blessings of freedom. 

A few days before his death, in reply to a request from his old friend 
Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College, asking him to give his portrait 
for the college library, Franklin answered with respect to his own relig- 
ions opinions: 

Here is my creed. I believe in one Qod, the Creator of the Universe. That he 
governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. The most accept- 
hle service we render to him is doing good to his other children. The soul of man is 
immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in 
this. These I lake to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard 
them, as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them. 

A.H to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think his 
system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw, 
of is like to see ; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I 
have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; 
though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think 
It needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of know- 
i ng the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that 
belief has the goo«l consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more 
re«pected and more observed ; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes 
It amisH, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any 
peculiar mark of displeasure. 

I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experienced the goodness of that 
Being in conducting me prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its 
continuance in the next, though without the smallest conceit of meriting such 

P. 8.— I confide that you will not expose me to criticisms and censures by publish- 
ing any part of this communication to you. I have ever let others enjoy their relig- 
ious sentiment* without retlectiug on tbem for those that appeared to me unsupport- 

' See the article in fall Rigelow, Vol. x. 


able or eveu absurd. All sects here, and we Lave a great variety, have experienced 
my good will in assisting them with subscriptions for the building their new jdaces 
of worship ; aud, as I have never ojjposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out 
of the world in peace with them all. 

As death approached and his strength failed, his breatlung became 
oppressed and some one suggested a change of position that he might 
breathe easier; Franklin, conscious of the change through which he 
was passing, said, "A dying man can do nothing easy." Soon after 
he passed away.^ 

The news of Franklin's death was received with sorrow throughout 
the civilized world. The city of his adoption gave him an honorable 
burial. Four days after his death his body was laid at rest by the side 
of his beloved wife in the burial ground of Christ Church on Arch 
street, near Fifth.^ 

In the House of Representatives, on the 22d of April, James Madison 
spoke of Franklin as " an illustrious character whose native genius has 
rendered distinguished service to the cause of science and of mankind 
in general, and whose patriotic exertions have contributed in a high 
degree to the independence and prosperity of this country." 

At Yale College its president. Dr. Stiles, jjreached a sermon on the 
character of Franklin, and at the request of the American Philosoph- 
ical Society, Dr. William Smith, one of its members, pronounced the 
well-known eulogy on the character and services of Franklin. 

On the 11th of June Mirabeau spoke before the National Legislature 
of France in eulogy of Franklin. His speech has been long familiar to 
Americans in their reading books, although in late years it has not 
been so frequently printed. 

Franklin is dead ! The genius that freed America and poured a flood of light over 
Europe has returned to the bosom of the Divinity. 

The sage whom two worlds claim as their own, the man for whom the hiatory of 
science and the history of empires contend with each other, held, withoat donbt, a 
high rank in the human race. 

Too long have political cabinets taken formal note of the death of those who were 

'He died Ai)ril 17, 1790, at 11 p. m., aged 84 years, 3 months, and 11 days. 

'The order of the procession was : All the clergy of the city before the corpse; the 
corpse, carried by citizens; the pall, supported by the president of the State, the 
chief-justice, the president of the bank, Samuel Powell, WUliam Bingham, and 
David Ritteuhouse, esquires; mourners, consisting of the family of the deceased 
with a number of particular friends; the secretary and members of the supreme ex- 
ecutive council; the speaker and members of the general assembly; judges of the 
supreme court and other officers of the Government; the gentlemen of the bar; the 
mayor aud corporation of the city of Philadelphia; the printers of the city with 
their journeymen and apprentices; the philosophical society, the college of physi- 
cians; the Cincinnati; the college of Philadelphia; sundry other societies, together 
with a numerous and respectable body of citizens. 

The conco urse of spectators was greater than ever was known on a like occasion. 
It is computed that not less than twenty thousand persons attended and witnessed 
the funeral, the order and silence which prevailed during the procession deeply 
evinced the heartfelt sense entertained by all classes of citizens, of the nnparallelled 
virtues, talents, and services of the deceased. 


great ouly iu th^ir funeral panegyrics. Too long has the etiquette of courts pre- 
ei-ribed hypocritical mourning. Nations should wear raouming only for their bene- 
factors. Thf n-prest'utatives of nations should reconuuend to their homage none but 
the heroes of humanity. 

The Congress has ordained, throughout the United States, a mourning of oue 
mouth for the death of Franklin, and at this moment America is paying this tribute 
ot veneration and gratitude to one of the fathers of her Constitution. 

Would it not become us, gentlemen, to join iu this religious act, to bear a part in 
this homage, rendered, in the face of the world, both to the rights of man and to 
the phiiosoplier who has most contributed to extend their sway over the whole 
earth f Antiquity w<mld have raised altars to this mighty genius, who, to the ad- 
vantage of mankind, compassing in his mind the heavens and earth, was able to 
restrain alike thunderbolts and 'tyrants. P3urope, enlightened and free, owes at 
least a token of remembrance and regret to one of the greatest men who has ever 
been engaged in the service of philosophy and liberty. 

I propose that it l»o decreed tliat the National Assemhly, during three days, shall 
wear mourning for Benjamin Franklin, 

Tlie Society of Priuters of Paris paid honors to his memory on the 
day of the municipal celebration. Conspicuous in an apartment of the 
Cafe Procope was placed a bust of Franklin, and beneath it on the 
pedestal was engraved the significant word '< Vir." 

It is inexpedient, as well as far from my purpose in this humble effort, 
to sketch the influence of Frfinklin's ideas in education, for me to make 
(juotations from the numerous estimates of Franklin by his contempo- 
raries and by posterity, but a few of these may be quoted to show the 
general opinion of liis educational influence. It will be noticed in those 
from which I (luotethatit is of Franklin, the self-taught American, the 
self-educated man, the scientist, the, projector of useful schemes, the 
benefactor, the philanthropist, the lover of his kind, the utilitarian 
philosopher, that eulogy is pronounced. ' 

Lord Jeffreys, in the Edinburgh Review, of July, 1806, says— 

This self-taught American is the most rational, perhaps, of all philosophers. He 
never loses sight of common sense in any of his speculations, and when his philoso- 
phy does not consist entirely in its fair and vigorous application, it is always regu- 
lated and controlled by it in its application and result. No individual, perhaps, 
ever pos-Hessed a juster understanding, or was so seldom obstructed in the use of it 
by indolence, enthusiasm, or authority. Dr. Franklin received ho regular educa- 
tion, and \w spent the greater part of his lifi> in a society where there was no relish 
and no encouragement for literature. On an ordinary mind, these circumstances 
would have produced tlieir usual eft'ects of repressing all sorts of intellectual ambi- 
tion or activity, and perpetuating a generation of incurious mechanics; but to an 
underatanding like Franklin's, we can not help considering them as peculiarly pro- 
pitiinin, and imagine that we can trace back to them distinctly almost all the pecu- 
liarities of his intelle( tnal character. Regular education, we think, is unfavorable 
to vigor or originality of understanding. Like civilization, it makes society more 
intelligent and agreeable, but it levels the distinctions of nature. It strengthens 
and mbxbU the feeble, but it deprives the strong of his triumph, and casts down the 
hopes of the aspiring. It accflm])lisbes this, not only by training up the mind in a 
habitual veneration for authorities, but by leatling us to bestow a disproportionate 
degree of attention upon studies that are only valuable as keys or instruments for 
the understanding; tliey come at last to be regarded as ultimate objects of pursuit, 
and the means .»f education are absurdly mistaken for its end. How many powerful 


understiindingB have been lost in the Dialectics of Aristotle ! And of liow much 
good philosophy are we daily defrauded by the preposterous error of taking a 
knowledge of prosody for useful learning! The mind of a man who has escaped 
this training will at least have fair play. Whatever other errors ho may fall into, 
he will be safe at least from these infatuations. If he thinks proper, after he grows 
up, to study Greek, it will be for some better jiurpose than to become acquainted 
with its dialects. His prejudices Avill be those of a man, and not of a school boy, 
and his siieculations and conclusions will bo independent of the maxims of tutors 
and the oracles of literary patrons. The consequences of living in a refined and 
literary community arc nearly of the same kind with those of a regular education. 
There are so many critics to be satislied, so many qualifications to be established, so 
many rivals to encounter, and so much derision to be hazarded, that a young man is 
apt to be deterred from so perilous an enterprise, and led to seek for distinction in 
some safer lino of exertion. He is discouraged by the fame and perfection of certain 
models and favorites, who are always in the mouths of his judges, and, "under them 
his genius is rebuked," and his originality repressed, till he sinks into a paltry copy- 
ist or aims at distinction by extravagance and aflFectation. In such a state of society 
he feels that mediocrity has no chance of distinction ; and what beginner can expect 
to rise at once into excellence? He imagines that mere good sense will attract no 
attention, and that the manner is of much more importance than the matter in a 
candidate for public admiration. In his attention to the manner the matter is apt 
to* be neglected, and in his solicitude to pleaae those who require elegance of diction, 
brilliancy of wit, or harmony of periods, he is in some daager of forgetting that 
strength of reason and accuracy of observation by which he first proposed t« recom- 
mend himself. His attention, Avhen extended to so many collateral object*, is no 
longer vigorous or collected; the stream, divided into so many channels, ceases to 
flow either deep or strong ; he becomes an unsuccessful pretender to fine writing, 
and is satisfied with the frivolous praise of elegance or vivacity. 

We are disposed to ascribe so much power to these obstructions to intellectual 
originality, that we can not help fancying that if Franklin had been bred in a col- 
lege he would have contented himself with expounding the meters of Pinda, and 
mixing argument with his port in the common room ; and that if Boston had abounded 
with men of letters he would never have ventured to come forth from his printing 
house, or been driven back to it, at any rate, by the sneers of the critics, after the 
first publication of his essays in the "Busybody." This will probably be thought 
exaggerated ; but it can not be denied, we think, that the contrary circumstances in 
his history had a powerful effect in determining the character of his understanding, 
and in producing those peculiar habits of reasoning and investigation by which his 
writings are distinguished. He was encouraged to publish because there was scarcely 
any one around him whom he could not easily excel. He ^Vroto with great brevity, 
because he had not leisure for more voluminous compositions, and because he knew 
that the readers to wJiom he addressed himself were, for the most part, as busy as 
himself. For the same reason he studied great perspicuity and simplicity of state- 
ment ; his countrymen had no relish for fine writing, and could not easily be made 
to understand a deduction depending on a long or elaborate process of reasoning. 
He was forced, therefore, to concentrate what he had to say; and since he had no 
chance of being admired for the beauty of his composition, it was natural for him 
to aim at making an impression by the force and the clearness of his statements. 
His conclusions were often rash and inaccurate, from the same circumstances which 
rendered his productions concise. Philosophy and speculation did not form the busi- 
ness of his life, nor did he dedicate himself to any particular study with a view to 
exhaust and complete the investigation of it in all its parts and under all its relations. 
He engaged in every interesting inquiry that suggested itself to him, rather as the 
necessary exercise of a powerful and active mind than as a task which he had bound 
himseL to perform He cast a quick and penetrating glance over the facts and the 


data that were presented to hiui, and drew liis conclusions with a rapidity and pre- 
cision that have not often been equaled; but he did not stop to examine the com- 
pU>tene«K of the data upon which lie proceeded, nor to consider the ultimate effect or 
application of the principles to which he had been conducted. In all questions, there- 
fore, where the facta upon which he was to determine and the materials from which 
his judgment was to be formed were either few in number or of such a nature as not 
to be overlooked, his reasons are for the most part perfectly just and conclusive and 
bis decisions unexceptionably sound, hut Avhcre the elements of the calculation were 
more numerous and widely scattered it apjiears to us that he has often 1)een precipi- 
tate, and that he has cither boon misled by a partial apprehension of the conditions 
of the problem or has discovered only a portion of the truth which lay before him. 

In all physical inquiries, in almost all questions of particular and immediate policy, 
and in much of what relates to the practical wisdom and happiuess of private life, his 
views will be found to be admirable, and the reasoning by which they are supported, 
most masterly and convincing. But upon subjects of general politics, of abstract 
jDorality and political economy, his notions appear to be more unsatisfactory and in- 
complete. He seems to have wanted leisure, and perhaps inclination also, to spread 
out before him the whole vast premises of these extensive sciences, and scarcely to 
have had patience to hunt for his conclusions through so wide and intricate a region 
as that upon which they invited him to enter. He has been satisfied, therefore, on 
every occasion with reasoning from a very limited view of the facts, and often from 
a particular instance. Hehasdoneallthatsagacityandsound scnsecoulddo withstfch 
materials, but it cannot excite wonder if he has sometimes overlooked an essential 
part of the argument, and often advanced a particular truth into the place of a gen- 
eral principle. He seldom reasoned upon these subjects at all, we believe, without 
having some practical application of them innnediately in view, and as he began the 
investigation rather to determine a particular case than to establish a general maxim so 
he probably desisted as soon as he had relieved himself of the present difficulty. There 
are not many among the thoroughbred scholars and philosophers of Europe who can 
lay claim to distinction in more than one or two departments of science or literature. 
The uneducated tradesman of America has left writings that call for our attention 
in natural philosophy, in i)olitic8, in political economy, and in general literature and 
morality. / 

As a writer on morality and general literature, the merits of Dr. Franklin can not 
be estimated properly without taking into consideration the peculiarities that have 
been already alluded to in his early history and situation. He uever had the benefit 
of any academical instruction, nor of the society of men of letters. His style w.'is 
formed entirely by his own judgment and occasional reading, and most of his moral 
pieces were written while he was a tradesman, addressing himself to the tradesmen 
of his native city. We cannot expect, therefore, that he should write with extraor- 
dinary elo(|aenre or grace, or that he should treat of the accomplishments, follies, 
and oecupations of polite life. He luwl no great occasion, as a moralist, to expose 
the guilt and fcdly of giuning or seduction, or to p»»int a poignant and playful ridi- 
cule against the higher imnutralities of fashionable life. To the mechanlcsand trad- 
ers of Fl«»ston and Phila^lclphia such warnings were altogether unnecessary, and he 
endeavored, therefore, with more api»ropriat«i eloquence, to impress upon them the 
importance of industrj-, sobriety, and economy, and to direct their wise and humble 
ambition to the attainment of useful knowledge and honorable independence. That 
morality, after all, is certainly the most valual>le, which is adapted to the circum- 
stances of the greater part «»f mankind, and that elo(]uence is the most meritorious 
that is calculated to <onvince and persuade the multitude to virtue. Nothing can 
be more perfectly and beautifully adapted to its object than most of Dr. Franklin's 
compositions of this sort. The tone of familiarity, of good will, and homely jocu- 
larity, the plain and pointed illustrations, the short sentences, made up of short 


■words, and the strong sense, clear information, and obvions conviction of the author 
himself, make most of his moral exhortations perfect models of pppnlar eloquence, 
and afford the finest specimens of a style which has been but too little cultivated in 
a country which numbers perhaps more than 100,000 readers among ita tradesmen 
and artificers. 

In writings which possess such solid and unusual merit, it is of no great conse- 
quence that the fastidious eye of a critic can discover many blemishes. There is a 
good deal of vulgarity in the practical writings of Dr. Franklin; and more vulgar- 
ity than was in any way necessary for the object he had in view. There is something 
childish, too, in some of his attempts at pleasantry ; his story of the whistle, and 
his Parisian letter, announcing the discovery that the sun gives light as soon as he 
rises, are instiauces of this. The Soliloquy of an Ephemeris, however, is much bet- 
ter; and both it, and the Dialogue with the Gout, are executed with the lightness 
and spirit of genuine F'rench compositions. The Speech in the Divan of Algiers, 
composed as a parody on those of the defenders of the slave-trade, and the scriptu- 
ral parable against persecution, are inimitable; they have all the point and facility 
of the fine pleasantries of Swift and Arbuthnot, with something more of directness 
and apparent sincerity. The style of his letters, in general, is excellent. They are 
chiefly remarkable for great simplicity of language, admirable good sense and inge- 
nuity, and an amiable and inoffensive cheerfulness, that is never overclouded or 

Upon the whole, we look upon the life and writings of Dr. Franklin as affording 
a striking illustration of the incalculable value of a sound and well-directed under- 
standing, and of the comparative uselessness of learning and laborious accomplish- 
ments. Without the slightest pretensions to the character of a scholar or a man of 
science, he has extended the bounds of human knowledge on a variety of subjects, 
which scholars and men of science had previously investigated without success; 
and has only been found deficient in those studies which the learned have generally 
turned from in disdain. We would not be understood to say anything in disparage- 
ment of scholarship and science ; but 'the value of these instruments is apt to be 
overrated by their possessors, and it is a wholesale mortification to show them that 
the work may be done without them. We have long known that their employment 
does not insure success. 

In 1812, Sir James Mackintosh said : 

The cause of the Americans in France owed part of its success to the peculiar 
character, as well as extraordinary talents, of their agent at Paris, Benjamin Frank- 
lin. Bred a printer, at Boston, he had raised himself to a respectable station by the 
most ingenious industry and frugality ; and having acquired celebrity by his phi- 
losophical discourses, he had occupied a considerable office in the colonies at the 
commencement of the disturbance. This singular man long labored to avert a rup- 
ture, and, notwithstanding his cold* and cautions character, he shed tears at the 
prospect of separation ; but he was too wise to deliberate after decision. Having 
once made his determination, he adhered to it with a firnmess which neither the 
advances of England nor the adversity of America could shake. He considered a 
return to the ancient friendship as impossible, and every conciliatory proposal as 
a snare to divide America and to betray her into absolute submission. At Paris he 
was preceded and aided by his philosophical fame. His steady and downright char- 
acter was a singularity which the accomplished diplomatists of France had not 
learned how to conqiier. The simplicity of a Republican, a Presbjterian, and a 
printer, transported at the age of 70 to the most polished court of Europe, by amus- 
ing the frivolous and interesting the romantic, excited a disposition at Versailles 
favorable to his cause. 

Early accustomed to contemplate infant societies and uncultivated natnre, his mind 
was original and independenst. He derived neither aid nor incajtnbrance from leam- 


ing, which enslaves every mind not i)owerful to master and govern it. H3 was, 
therefore, exempt from those prejudices of nation and age which every learned 
education fosters. Reared in the colonies struggling into existence, where necessity 
so often calls out ingenious contrivance, he adapted even philosophical experiment 
to the direct convenience of mankind. The same spirit is still more conspicuous in 
his moral and political writings. An independence of thought, a constant and 
direct reference to utility, a consequent abstinence from Avhatever is merely curious 
and ornamental or even remotely useful, a talent for ingeniously betraying vice and 
prejudice into an admission of reason, and for exhibiting their sophisms in that 
state of undisguised absurdity in which they are ludicrous, with a singular power 
of striking illustrations from homely objects, would justify us in calling Franklin 
the American Socrates. 

Johu Foster, in 1818, said : 

The character displayed by Franklin's correspondence is an unusual combina- 
tion of elements. The main substance of the intellectual part of it is a superla- 
tive good sense, evinced and acting in all the modes of that high endowment, 
nuch as an intuitively prompt and perfect and steadily continuing apprehension; 
a sagacity which, with admirable ease, strikes through all superficial and delu- 
sive appearance of things to the essence and true relations ; a faculty of reasoning 
in a manner marvelously simple, direct, and decisive ; a power of reducing a sub- 
ject or question to its plainest principles; an unaflfected daring to meet what- 
ever is to be opposed in an explicit, direct manner, and in the point of its main 
strength ; a facility of applying familiar truth and self-evident propositions for re- 
solving the most uncommon difficulties, and a happy adroitness of illustration by 
parallel cases, supposed or real, the real ones being copiously supplied by a large 
and moat observant acquaintance with the world. * * * His feelings do not 
seem to have been elevated above the pitch of calm satisfaction at having materially 
contributed to the success of a righteous cause, a success in which he was convinced 
he saw not simply the vindication of American rights, but the prospect of unlimited 
benefit of mankind. And here it may be remarked that his predominant passion 
appears to have been a love of the useful. The useful was to him the suvimum 
bonum, the supreme fair, the sublime and the beautiful, which it may not perhaps 
be extravagant to believe he was in quest of every week for half a century, in what- 
ever place, or study, or practical undertaking. No department was too plain or 
bumble for him to occupy himself in for this purpose ; and in affairs of the most 
ambitions order this was still systematically his object. Whether in directing the 
ronstracting of chimneys or of constitutions, lecturing on the saving of candles or 
on the economy of national revenues, he was still intent on the same end. the ques- 
tion always being how to obtain the most solid tangible advantage by the plainest 
and easiest means. There has rarely been a mortal of high intelligence and flatter- 
ing fame on whom the pomps of life were so powerless. On him were complet«ly 
thrown away the oratorical and poetical heroics about glory, of which heroics it 
was enough that he easily perceived the intention or effect to be to explode all sober 
truth and substantial good, and to impel men, at the very best of the matter, 
through Home carex-r of vanity, but commonly through mischief, slaughter, and de- 
vastation, in mad pursuit in what amounts at least, if attained, to some certain 
quantity of noise and empty show, and intoxicated transient elation. He was so 
far an admirable spirit for acting the mentor to a young republic. 
Lord Brougham said, in 1839: 

One of the most remarkable men, certainly, of our times, as a politician, or of any 
age, aa a philosopher, was Franklin, who also stands alone in combining together 
these two characters, the greatest that man can sustain, and in this, that having 
borne the first part in enlarging science by one of the greatest discoveries ever made, 
he bore the second part in founding one of the greatest empires in the world. 


In this truly great iiiau every thing seems to concur that goes towards th»' conHti- 
tution of exalted merit. First, he was the architect of his own fortune. Bom in 
the humblest station, he raised himself l)y his talents and his industry, first to the 
place in society which may be attained with the help only of ordinary abilities, 
great application, and good luck; but next to the loftier heights which a daring 
aud happy genius alone can scale; and the poor i)rinter's boy, who, at one pcrio«l of 
his life, had no covering to shelter his head from the dews of night, rent in twain the 
proud dominion of England, and lived to be the embassador of a Commonwealth 
which ho had formed at the court of the haughty monarcbs of Trance, who had been 
his allies. 

Then he had been tried by prosperity as well as adverse fortune, and had pawed 
unhurt thj-ough the perils of both. No ordinary apprentice, no common-place jour- 
neyman, ever laid the foundations of his independence in habits of industry and 
temperance more deep than he did, whose genius was afterward to rank him with 
the Galileos aud Newtons of the Old World. No patrician, born to shine in courte, 
or assist at the councils of luouarchs, ever bore his honors in a lofty station more 
easily, or was less spoiled by the enjoyment of them, than this common workman 
did when negotiating with royal representatives, or caressed by all the beauty and 
fashion of the most brilliant court in Europe. 

Again, he was self-taught in all he knew. His hours of study were stolen from 
those of sleep and of meals, or gained by some ingenious contrivance for re.iding 
while the work of daily calling went on. Assisted by none of the helps which 
affluence tenders to the studies of the rich, he had to supply the place of tutors by 
redoubled diligence, and of commentaries by repeated perusal. Nay, the possession 
cf books was to bo obtained by copying what the art, which he himself exercised, 
furnished easily to others. 

Next, the circumstances under which others succumb he made to yield, and bend 
to his own purposes, a successful leader of a revolt that ended in complete triumph, 
after appearing desperate for years; a great discoverer in philosophy, without the 
ordinary helps to knowledge; a writer, famed for his chaste style, without a chissi- 
cal education; a skillful negotiator, though never bred to jjolitics; ending as » fa- 
vorite, nay a pattern, of fashion, when the gmst of frivolous courts, the life which 
he had begun in garrets and in workshops. 

Lastly, combinations of faculties, in others deemed impossible, appeared easy and 
natural to him. The philosopher, delighted in speculation, was also eminently a 
man of action. Ingenious reasoning, refined and subtle consultation, were in him 
combined with prompt resolution and iuflexiblo lirmness of To a lively 
fancy ho joined a learned and deej) reflection; his original and iuN-entive genius 
stooped to the convenient alliance of the most ordinary prudence in every-day afl'airs ; 
the mind that soared above the clouds and was conversant with the loftiest of hu- 
man contemplations disdained not to make proverbs and feign i)arables for the 
guidance of apprenticed youths .and servile maidens; and the hands that sketched a 
free constitution for a whole continent or drew down the lightning from heaven 
easily and cheerfully lent themselves to simplify the apparatus by which truths 
were to be illustrated or discoveries pursued. 

His whole course, both in acting and in speculation, was simple au»l plain, ever 
preferring the easiest and the shortest road, nor ever having recourse-to any but the 
simplest means to compass his ends. His policy rejecte<l all refinements, and aimed 
at accomplishing its ])urposc8 by the most rational and obvious expedients. His 
language was unadorned, and used as a medium of eonununioating histhonghts, not 
of raising a<lmiration, but it was pure, expr<ssiv«', racy. His manner of reasoning 
was manly an<l cogent, the address of a rational being to others of the same order, 
and so concise that, preferring decision to discussion, he never exceeded a quarter of 
an-hour in any public address. His correspondence upon l)usiness, whether private 
or on state affairs, is a model of clearness and compendious shortness, nor can any 

1180 9 


state p.iiwra .snrpass in dignity and impression those of which he is believed to have 
been the author in the oarlier part of the American Revolutionary war. His mode of 
philosophizing was the i)nre8t application of the inductive principle, so eminently 
adapted to his nature and so clearly dictated by common sense that we can have 
little doubt it would have been suggested by Franklin, if it had not been unfolded 
by Bacon, though it is as clear that, in this case, it would have been expounded in 
far more simple terms. But of all this man's scientific excellencies, the most remark- 
able is the smallness, the simplicity, the apparent inadequacy of the means which 
he employed in his experimental researches. His discoveries were made with hardly 
any apparatus at all, and if, at any time, he had been led to employ instruments of 
a somewhat less ordinary description, he never rested satisfied until he had, as it 
were, afterward translated the process, by revolving the problem with such simple 
machinery that you might s'ay he had done it wholly unaided by apparatus. The 
experiments by which the identity of lightning and electricity was demonstrated 
were made with a sheet of brown paper, a bit of twine, a silk thread, and an iron 

Upon the integrity of this great man, whether in public or in private life, there 
rests no stain. Strictlj' honest, and even scrupulously punctual in all his dealings, 
h© preserved in the highest fortune that regularity which he had practiced as well 
as inculcated in the lowest. The phrase which he once used when interrupted in 
his proceedings upon the most arduous and important aflfairs, by a demand of some 
petty item in a long account — "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads out the 
com" — has beencit«d against him as proving the laxity of his dealings when intrust 
of public money; it plainly proves the reverse, for he well knew, in a country 
abounding in discussion, and full of bitter personal animosities, nothing could be 
gained of immunity by refusing to produce his vouchers at the fitting time; and 
his venturing to use such language demonstrates that he knew bis conduct to be 
really above all suspicion. 

In domestic life he was faultless and in the intercourse of society delightfnl. 
There was a constant good humor and a playful wit, easy and of high relish^ with- 
out any ambition to shine, the natural fruit of his lively fancy, his solid, natural 
goo<l sense, and his cheerful temper, that gave his conversation an unspeakable 
charm, and alike suited every circle, from the humblest to the most elevated. With 
all his strong opinions, so often solemnly declared, so imperishably recorded in his 
deeds, he retained a tolerance for those who diifered with him which could not be 
surpassed in men whose principles hang so loosely about them as to be takeu up for 
a convenient cloak and laid down when found to impede their progress. In his 
family be was everything that worth, warm aflfections, and sound prudence could 
contribute to make a man both useful and amiable, respected and beloved. In re- 
ligion he would by many be reckoned a latitudinarian; yet it is certain that his 
mind was imbue<l with a deep sense of the Divine perfections, a constant impression 
of onr accountable nature, and a lively hope of future enjoyment. Accordingly, his 
death bed, the test of both faith and works, was easy and placid, resigned and de- 
vout, and indicated at once an unflinching retrospect of the past and a comfortable 
assurance of the future. 

If we turn from the truly great man whom we have been contemplating to his 
celebrated contemporary in the old world, Frederick II, who only affected the phil- 
osophy that Franklin possessed, and employed his talents for civil and military 
sflTairs in extinguishing that independence which Franklin's life was consecrated to 
establish, the contrast is marvelous indeed between the monarch and the printer. 

In 1856 Robert C. Wintlirop .said : 

4'ertainly, if any man of his age, or of almost any other age, ever earned the rep- 
ntatiou of a doerof goo<l, and of having lived usefully, it was-Benjamin Franklin. 
No life was ever more eminently and practically a useful life than his. Capable of 
the greatest things, he condescended to the humblest. He never sat down to make 


himself famous. He never seclnded himself from the common walks and dnties of 
society in order to accomplish a great reputation, nincli less to accumulate a great 
fortune. He wrote no elaborate histories, or learned treatises, or stately tomefi. 
Short essays or tracts, thrown off at a heat to answer an immediate end, letters to his 
associates in science or politics, letters to his family and friends; these uiake up the 
great bulk of his literaiy productions; and, under the admirable editorship of Mr. 
Sparks, nine noble volumes do they fill, abounding in evidences of a wisdom, 
sagacity, ingenuity, diligence, freshness of thought, fnlluess of information, com- 
prehensiveness of reach, and devotedness of i)urpose, such as are rarely to be found 
associated in any single man. Wherever he found anything to be done, he did it; 
anything to be investigated, he investigated it; anything to be invented or dis- 
covered, ho forwith tried to invent or discover it, and almost always succeeded. He 
did everything as if his whole attention in life had "been given to that one thing. 
And thus, while he did enough in literature to be classed among the great writers of 
his day, enough in invention and science to secure him the reputation of » great 
philosopher, enough in domestic politics to w;n the title of a great statesman, 
enough in foreign negotiations to merit the designation of a great diplomatist, he 
found time enough, also, in works of general utility, humanity, and benevolence, to 
insure him a perpetual memory as a great philanthropist. 

No form of personal suffering or social evil escaped his attention, or appealed in 
vain for such relief or remedy aa his prudence could suggest or Ills purse supply. 
From that day of his early youth, when, a wanderer from his home and friends in a 
strange place, he was seen sharing his rolls with a poor woman and child, to the last 
act of his public life, when he signed that well-known memorial to Congress, as 
president of the Anti-Slavery Society of Pennsylvania, a spirit of earnest and prac- 
tical benevolence runs like a golden thread along his whole career. Would to 
Heaven that he could have looked earlier at that great evil at which he looked at 
last, and that the practical resources and marvelous sagacity of his mighty intellect 
could have been brought seasonably to bear upon the solution of a problem now 
Mmost too intricate for any human faculties! WquM to Heaven that he could have 
taken his invention for a mode of drawing the fire safely from that portentous 
cloud, in his day, indeed, hardly bigger than a man's hand, but which is now 
blackening the whole sky, and threatening to rend asunder that noble fabric of 
union, of which he himself proposed the earliest model! 

But no estimate of Franklin is probably more correct and at the 
same time expressive of the oi)inion which the people of the United 
States hold of Franklin than that pronounced by Hora<'e Greeley in 
1862. Horace Greeley was another Franklin, a man self-made, a utili- 
tarian, and a public character. He differed from Franklin in degree 
rather than in kind. Perhaps if Franklin could have returned to earth 
in 1862 he would have found no more congenial companion than Hor- 
ace Greeley. 

Of the men whom the world currently terms self-made— that is, who severally 
fought their life-battles without the aid of inherited wealth, or family honors, or 
educational advantages, perhaps our American Franklin stands highest in the civil- 
ized world's regard. The salient feature of his career is its uniformity. In an age 
of wars, he never led an army, nor set a squadron in the field. He never performed 
any dazzling achievement. Though an admired writer and one of the greatest scien- 
tific discoverers, he was not a genius. His progress from the mean tallow chandler's 
shop of his Boston father, crammed full of hungry brothers and sisters, to the gilded 
salons of Versailles, where he stood the "observed of all observers "—in fact, more 
* a king than the gentle Louis, was marked by no abrupt transition, no break, no 


bonnd ; he seems not so iinich to have risen as to have grown. You can not say 
when he cea**e<l to lio poor, or unknown, or powerless; he steps into each new and 
higher rosition as if he l>ad heen born for just that; you know that his newspaper, 
his alnianao, his electrical researches, his parliamentary service, his diplomacy, were 
the best of their time, but who can say that he was more admirable in one field of 
useful effort thananotherf An ambas8a<lor, it has been smartly said, is one "sent 
abroad to lie for his country," yet you feel that this man could eminently servo his 
country in perfect truth; that his frank sincerity and heartfelt appreciation of the 
be«t points in the French character, in Parisian life, served her better than the most 
artful dissimulation, the most plausible hypocrisy. The French alliance was worth 
more to us than Saratoga, for it gave ns Yorktown, and it was not Gates's victory, 
as is commonly asserted, but Franklin's power and popularity, alike in the salons 
and at court, that gained us the French alliance. 

We can not help asking, were poverty and obstacle among the causes, or only the 
iacidentof this man's greatness? Had he been cradled in affluence and dandled in the 
lap of luxury; had he been crammed by tutors and learnedly bored by jirofcssors ; 
had Harvard or Yale conferred degrees upon him at twenty, as they both rather 
superfluously did when he was nearly fifty ; had his youth been devoted to Latin 
conjugations and Greek hexameters rather than to candle-dipping and typesetting, 
would he have been the usefully great man he indisputably was? Admit that these 
queries can never be conclusively answered, they may yet be profitably pondered. 
* » » » * » . ♦ 

I think I adequately appreciate the greatness of Washington, yet I must place 
Franklin above him as the consummate type and flowering of human nature under 
the skies of colonial America. Not that Washington was born to competence and 
all needful facilities lor instruction, so that he began responsible life on vantage 
ground that Franklin toiled twenty arduous, precious years to reach; I can not feel 
that this fact has undue weight with me. I realize that there are elements of dignity, 
of grandeur, in the character of Washington for which that of Franklin afibrds no 
parallel. But when I contemplate the immense variety and versatility of Frankliu's 
services to his country and to mankind ; when I think of him as a writer whose first 
effusions commanded attention in his early boyhood; as the monitor and teacher of 
Lis fellow journeymen in a London printing office ; as almost from the outset a pros- 
perous and influential editor when journ.alism had never before been a source of 
power; as taking his place naturally at the head of the postal service in America, 
anil of the earliest attempts to form a jiractical confederation of the colonies; when 
I see him, never an enthusiast, and now nearly three-score-and-ten, renouncing 
office, hazarding fame, fortune, everything, to struggle for the independence of his 
country, he having most to lose by failure of any American, his only son a bitter 
loyalist, he cheerfully and repeatedly braving the dangers of an ocean swarming 
with enemies, to render his country the service as ambassador which no other man 
could perform, and finally, when more than eighty years old, crowning a life of duty 
and honor by helping to frame that immortal Constitution which made us one nation 
forever, I can not place Franklin second to any other American. He could not have 
done the work of Washington— no other man could; but then he did so many admira- 
ble things which Washington had too sound a judgment even to attempt. And, great 
as WaMhiugton was, he was not great enough to write and print after he had achieved 
power and world-wide fame, a frank, ingenuous confession of his youthful follies 
and sins for the instruction and admonition of others. Many a man can look calmly 
down the throat« of roaring cannon who lacks the courage and true philanthropy 
eoseotial to those called to render this service to mankind. 

Chapter II. 

At 22 years of age Franklin wrote liis "Articles of Belief and Acts 
of Religion," in which he laid down his so-called "first principles;" this 
was his first serious effort toward self education in morality. The prin- 
ciples are a liturgy and a book of prayer, and if the spirit which ani- 
iniated them be accepted as the motive of Franklin's life, it indicates the 
large purpose of his mind to " attain perfection in morals." The whole 
cllort is of a piece with his notion of education; that man by self appli- 
cation could attain through the results of jjersonal experiment perfec- 
tion in almost any art. 

Two years later, in his "Eules for a Club Estabhshed for Mutual Im- 
provement," (the celebrated Junto rules), he applied his principle of 
self education by cooperating witli kindred spirits; took the first steps 
toward the characteristic acts of his life, the establishment of useful 
relations with his fellowmen. The use which he made of the Junto, of 
which we have already spoken, indicates the large value which he set 
upon such an enterprise. It would be untrue to say that Franklin was 
the founder of all the debating clubs in America, but it is not untrue 
that he was the founder of the most useful debating club which ever 
existed in this country, for the living influence of the Junto' exists to 
this day, and its usefulness to the country is suggested by the influence 
of the Library Company of Philadelphia at the present time. 

Franklin applied the famous maxim of Horace that use is the law of 
speech, and extended the maxim so that it became to him the law of 
education ; he learned to write by writing, and his numerous contribu- 

NoTE. — The correspondence anU miscellaneous writings of Franklin at the hands of 
successive editors have accuniulated to ten octavo volumes, and additional letters 
are discovered from time to time. Eacli new research into the archives of the gov- 
ernments of France and England brings to light more Franklin letters. From the 
published correspondence and writings of Franklin, gathered by Sparks and Bigelow, 
I will venture to select passages in the writings of Franklin which record from time 
to time his ideas of education or which illustrate the application of those ideas. I 
am aware that such a selection is made at the risk of the omission of passages, which 
uj)Ou a larger view might appear to be pertinent, but the selection is made with the 
hope that others may be led to make a more thorough investigation of the subject. — 

• 133 


tions t« the newspapers began the American magazine; his paraphrases 
of the Spectator in his brother's newspaper in Boston, under the 
pseudonym of "Silence J)ogood," are followed by innumerable papers, 
in varying form, improving, we may say, until they attain perfection, 
to various newspapers throughout his life. The public was the subject 
of his story and all of his contributions ^re written for the pleasure 
and instruction of the puWic. The Busybody, a series of papers con- 
tributed to the Weekly Mercury, the first newspaper published in Phila- 
deljihia, are indisputably the first of Franklin's writings, though his 
own reference to the earlier Silence Dogood papers are evidence that 
they were his own. He says in the first number of the Busybody : 

I have lately entertained some thought of setting up for an author myself, not out 
of the l«;a8t vanity, I sisaure you, or desire of showing my parts, but purely for the 
goo<l of my country. 

These early j)aper8, "written in his twenty-third year, show many of 
the author's characteristics, both in subject and in style, and have proved 
the truth of Franklin's favorite idea in English composition, that by 
much frequent and careful writing one may attain unto a simple and 
direct style. Franklin maybe said to be the first American newspaper 
man, for he was the first American writer to use simple English in brief 
sentences addressed directly to the public, and it may be said that he 
was the founder of the brief, sententious, American style in writing. 
The impcntance which Franklin attached to composition in his scheme 
for an English education was the result of his own experience. 

In 1729 he published "A Modest Inquiry into the Nature and Neces- 
sity of a Paper Currency," and this little pamphlet marks an epoch in 
the history of political economy. With characteristic confession he 
begins his inquiry with these words: 

There is no science the study of which is more useful and commendable than the 
knowledge of the true Interest of one's country. 

It would be interesting to observe more particularly the frequency 
with which Franklin uses the phrase "the true interest of one's coun- 
try" or "the general welfare of one's country." In this "Modest In- 
quiry" he dls(;usse8 the nature of a paper currency under several gen- 
eral considerations, such as the scarcity of money and a high rate of 
interest. That the scarcity of money in a country discourages immi- 
gration was a point of great interest to Franklin, who is ever discuss- 
ing the means for encouraging an increase of population, as his theory 
of the general welfare was based upon his interpretation of the inter 
ests of an ever increasing and prosperous people; so he laid down the 
general d(M:trine that "a plentiful currency will encourage great num- 
bers of laboring and handicraftsmen to come and settle in the coun- 
try." He thought that "want of money in such a country as ours oc- 
casions a greater consumption of English and European goods in pro- 
iwrtion to the number of people than there would otherwise be."* This 

franklin's ideas in education. 135 

iiotiou is ill keeping with one of Franklin's favorite ideas, expressed by 
liim in 1771, that — 

Every uiauiifacturo iu our country makes an opportunity for a market for pro- 
duetioua within tiurselves and supplies so much money' to the country as must other- 
wise be exported to pay for the manufacture of supplies here in England; it is well 
known and understood that wherever a manufacture is established that employs a 
number of hands it raises the value of land in the neighboring country all around. 
It seems, therefore, the interest of our farmers and owners of land to encourage our 
own manufactures in preference to foreign ones. 

In other words, Franklin's idea of a nation was his idea of the in- 
dividual, that the niation, like the individual, should be self-support- 
ing. This was the education in his New England home, and is char- 
acteristic of the New England idea in government. 

It is interesting to trace in Franklin's writings as early as 1729 this 
plain intimation of the means for the true prosperity of America, that 
traders, artificers, laborers, and manufacturers in America should pro- 
duce the goods in America and for America. It is in this paper on 
currency that Franklin lays down the fundamental notion in American 
economics that labor is the measure and creator of wealth : 

For many ages [he says] those parts of the world which are engaged in com- 
merce have fixed upon gold and silver as the chief and most proper materials for 
this medium (tliat is, money properly called a medium of exchange), they being iu 
themseh'es valuable motala for their fineness, beauty, and scarcity. By these, par- 
ticularly by silver, it has been usual to value all things else. But as silver itself is 
of no certain permanent value, being worth more or less according to its scarcity or 
plenty, therefore it seems requisite to fix upon something else more proper to be 
made a measure of value, and this I take to be labor.' By labor may the value of 
silver be measured as well as other things. As, suppose one man employed to raise 
corn while another is digging and refining silver. At the year's end, or at any other 
period of time, the complete produce of corn and that of silver are the natural price 
of each other ; and if one be 20 bushels and the other 20 ounces, then an ounce of 
that silver is worth the labor of raising a bushel of that corn. * * * Thus the 
riches of a country are to be valued by the quantity of labor its inhabitants are able 
to purchase, and not by the quantity of silver and gold they possess, which will 
purchase more or less labor, and therefore is more or less valuable, as is said before, 
according to its scarcity or plenty. 

This doctrine of labor stated in 1729 anticipated the Wealth of Na- 
ions forty-six years, and justly may lay claim to priority in the foun- 
dation of the industrial basis of modern political economy. He applied 
his doctrine as it affected the currency, by affirming that "money as 
bullion or as land is valuable by so much labor as it costs to procure 
that bullion or land. Money as a currency has an additional value by 
so much time and labor as it saves in the exchange of commodities." 
The effect of this paper in Pennsylvania was the issue of a paper cur- 
rency. Franklin, mindful of his rule for humility and modesty, con- 
cluded the essay by saying : 

As this essay is wrote and published in haste and the subject in itself intricate, I 
liope I shall be censured with candor if, for want of time carefully to revise what I 

'This idea is elaborated iu "The Wealth of Nations," Book I. See also J. 8. 
Mills's " Principles of Political Econony,' Book I. 


bave writtfii, in some places I should appear to have expressed myself too obscurely 
and iu others aui liable to objections I did not foresee. I sincerely desire to bo ac- 
quainted with the truth, and on that account shall think myself obliged to any one 
who ■will take the pains to show me ot the public where I am mistaken in my con- 

His fondness for dialogues had led liini to prpscribe the composition 
of tlieni in his scheme for an English school and is illustrated through- 
out his writings by his own dialogues on a great variety of subjects. 

Franklin was fond of the theatre; action, expression, relieved the te- 
dium of mere writing, and it would not be a matter of surprise that, had 
Franklin possessed the leisure, he should have written a play. The 
dialogue as a style in composition is much out of fashion in our time, 
but it was much in vogue in the eighteenth century, and Franklin was 
a master of it. Many will remember the dialogues which formed selec- 
ti«ms in the old readers in our schools; the j^ will remember speaking 
day, when these dialogues were mouthed from the stage, and some 
wholesome lesson in politics or morality was given to the audience. 
Some of the most celebrated dialogues found in those readers were 
written by Franklin himself, as the celebrated dialogue between Frank- 
lin and the gout. 

His utilitarian ideas appeared throughout his writings; in the Penn- 
sylvania Gazette of October 30, 1735, he contributes a paper on the 
usefulness of mathematics. His own course in Jirithmetic and geometry 
will be remembered, and it will also be remembered that Franklin 
never made extensive studies in mathematics or extensive use of them ; 
80 that his paper on the usefulness of mathematics was based upon 
their commercial value. It was because — 

That no business, commerce, trade, or employment whatsoever, even from the mer- 
chant to the shopkeeper, etc., can be managed and carried on without the assistance 
of numbers; for by these the trader computes the value of all sorts of goods that 
he dealeth in, does his business with ease and certanity, and informs himself how 
matters stand at any time with respect to men, money, or merchandise, to profit and 
loss, whether he goes forward or backward, grows richer or poorer. 

We should not forget that in 1735 there were no common schools or 
common facilities for the education of the poor, and that the occasion 
for self education was even greater than at present. Illiteracy was 
more prevalent, and the means for acquiring a knowledge of the rudi- 
ments of an English education depended almost Avholly upon the ac- 
tivity of the individual. Now, in the days when public education is a 
part of modern life, Franklin's appeal for self-education loses much of 
its original force. The explanation of his enormous influence in America 
is that he spoke to a people who were lacking the very facilities which 
he showed were within reach of any enterprising person. Franklin 
was an American educat*)r before there were American schools. 

Throughout his paper on mathematics he makes no argument for the 
study of mathematics as a science; it is for its utility in mechanics, in 
navigation, in surveying, in engineering, and in the computation of 

franklin's ideas IX EDUCATION. 137 

time and its divisions; its utility as a method of strengtnening the 
mind, of securing the capacity for exact reasoning, of discerning truth 
from falsehood, and he concludes his argument with a quotation firoiu 
Plato, characteristic of his own notions of life : 

Deak Friend :^ You see, then, that mathematics are necessary, because by the ex- 
actness of the method we get a habit of using our minds to the best advantage. 

At thirty years of age he writes his first paper on government. It is 
of interest because of his subsequent influence in international politics, 
and particularly in the formation of the constitutions of Pennsylvania 
of 1770 and 1789, and in the making of the national constitution in 1787. 
His paper on government, written forty years before the first constitu- 
tion of an American commonwealth was written, contains the germs of 
all American constitutions. Government is ''created by and for the 
good of the whole" and "should be made liable to the inspection and 
animadversion of the whole;" "the sovereignty is in the people;" and he 
concludes with the maxim, "Vox Dei est populi vox." With this quali- 
fication that "this is universally true while they remain in their proper 
sphere, unbiassed by faction, undeluded by the tricks of designing men." 

We shall see later how this same idea occurs to him in his final speech 
to the Convention of 1787. It is in this paper on government that he 
anticipates a thought in the Declaration of Independence that "the 
civil privileges of the American people are not a gift bestowed upon lis 
by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and 

He based his idea of government upon his interpretation of the public 
good and asserts the foundation of government to be on the common 
rights of mankind. It is interesting as a suggestion of his subsequent 
course in politics. 

Perhaps no paper by Franklin has been so widely read as his Way to 
Wealth; 2 the great number of editions of this paper, written in 1736, 
indicates its widespread influence. One paper, addressed to the 
"Courteous Eeader," assumes to be taken from*the proverbs of an old 
almanac entitled "Poor Richard Improved." Probably this paper re- 
flects Franklin's mind in its every day economy more perfectly than any 
other he ever Avrote. It is an epitome of homely experiences told in 
the style of which he was then master, and addressed to the public, 
whom he always had in mind. It is a series of maxims skilfully 
strung together illustrative of Franklin's favorite notion that indastry, 

'Compare the opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: "When in 
the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the politi- 
cal bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the i>owers 
of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of na- 
ture's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankin«l requires that 
they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 

'•"The Sayings of Poor Richard;" The Prefaces, Proverbs, and Poems of Benjamin 
Franklin. Collected and edited by Paul Leicester Ford, form oue of the " Knicker- 
bocker Nuggett" series. G. P. Putnam's Sons. " The Way to Wealth" is printed 
in McMaster's " Franklin." 

138 niK ( .Nl\ hK>iJ'i' OF Pi:iNNSVt<VAiMA. 

economy, and virtue were the means for attaininj;' i)errectiou in tliis 
life. Portions of the i)aper have been printt'd in the reading books so 
irequently tliat it hjis become one of the best known of American writ- 
ings. It is perliaps safe to say that in this single article Franklin eon- 
tribnted to the education of his countrymen in no otiier 
American has ever contribnte«l. 

Between 1736 and 1750 Franklin contributed volnminously to the 
newsi)aper, ever writing upon some useful project. It was in 1749 that 
he made ai)plicatiou of his utilitarian doctrines in liis conception of the 
identity of electricity and lightning, and began that train of thought 
which en<led three years later in his famous experiment with the 
kite. His conception of the identity of electricity and lightning led to 
his invention of the lightning rod. Franklin never covered his dis- 
coveries by i)atent, believing that, as he had received much from man- 
kind, he should contribute as freely as possible himself to the welfare 
of the world. It is during the next twelve years that Franklin won 
his fame as an electrician, obtaining his knowledge by simple experi- 
mentation and deducing conclusions of Avide comprehension. He was a 
b(jrn scientist; his own experience as an experimenter led him to em- 
phasize experiment in education, although in his Proposals for the 
Education of I'outh in Pennsylvania he does not emphasize laboratory 
work as at lirst tlnjught one might have expected from him. We have 
already referred to this. 

Franklin nuidc no effort., to defend his own scientific fame, but left 
his fann* to the considerate Judgment of mankind. Tliis was character- 
istic of all his work. He judged himself as he judged others — by the 
usefulness of his life to mankind. He strictly applied his utilitarian 
doctrines to himself. It is to be noticed in the numerous letters to 
VvU-r CoUinson and others concerning his electrical experiments that 
his ideas foHowed the experiment rather than anticipated it. He kept 
close to phenomena and showed no haste to experiment merely for the 
-ake of experiment. AW his experiments were for utilitarian purposes. 

In his "Advice to a Young Tradesman," written in 1748, he apjdies 
>ome of the notions already expressed in his " Wajito Wealth," and 
lie signs himself "^\!i Old Tradesman." His frequent papers upon 
money-getting have misled some of his critics, who have thought that 
his whole scheme was the penny-wise pound-foolish policy, and that his 
<oIe puip«»se in life was to accunnilate wealth. It seems to us, on the 
contrary, that Franklin illustrates in his own life the opposite policy, 
for having accumulated a fortune before he was fifty— a very unusnai 
thing to do in the American Cohmies— he was enabled to utilize his 
time for the benefitof the public. It would seem ratherthat his scheme 
of life was to win wealth in or<l(!r to obtain time for self-improvement. 
He would have all men accunnilate sufficient wealth to enable themta 
make innumerable experiment's in virtue and natural philosophy, by 
means of which the general welfare may be promoted. 


This is illustrated in his letter to George Wbitefleld, July C, 1749, in 
which ho says : 

1 am glad to hear tliat you have frcqneut opportniiities of prcacbiug among tlio 
great. If you can gain them to a good and exemplary life wonderful c-baugeH will 
follow in the manner of the lower ranks, for ad exanplum regis, etc. On this prin- 
ciple Confucius, the famous Eastern reformer, ))roceeded. AVheu he saw his country 
sunk in vice, and wickedness of all kinds triumphant, heapplied himself tiratto the 
grandees, and having by his doctrine won them to the cause of virtue the conimunit 
foH,owed in multitude.'?. The mode has a wonderful influence on mankind, and there 
are numbers who perhaps fear less the being in hell than out of the fashion. Our 
most western reformations began with the ignorant mob, and when numbers of them 
were gained interest and party views di*ew in the wise and great. "Where both 
methods can be used the reformations, are likely to be more speedy. O, that some 
method could be found to make them lasting! lie who discovers that will, in my 
opinion, deserve more, ten thousand times, than the inventor of the longitnde. 

Franklin was a believer in the forcp of example, and his belief was 
based upon his own experience in self-education. Probably no Ameri- 
can has illustrated the ad exemplum regis like Franklin. His life has 
been the pattern for thousands, and in innumerable stories, essays, 
sermons, and speeches he has been held up as the example to American 
youth. In his own scheme for the education of children he emphasizes 
the value of the study of history and biographies because of the exam 
pies which would be set before the minds of youth. Posterity has 
treated Franklin gently, and perhaps no better illustration of Fi-anklin's 
influence can be cited than Auerbach's "Villa on the Ehine," in which 
German story Franklin is the happy exami)le for others to follow. 

In a letter to his mother in his forty-third year he says of himself: 

For my own part at present I pass my time agreeably enough. I enjoy through 
mercy a tolerable share of health, I read a great deal, write a little, do a little busi- 
ness for myself and now aud then for others, retire when I can, and go into company 
when I please. So the years roll on, and the last will come, when I would rather 
have it said, "He lived usefully, " than "He died rich. " 

At the time of his services in founding the University of Pennsyl- 
vania he had occasion to write to Dr. Samuel Johnson, first president 
of King's College, now Columbia College, to whom the provostsbip of 
the new university had been offered. 

In his letter to Dr. Johnson, Franklin says: 

I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal than to 
form aud train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are, in my 
oi)inion, the strength of the state, much more so than riches or armies, which, under 
the management of ignorance and wickedness often draw on destruction, instead of 
providing for the safety of the people. And though the culture bestowed on nuuiy 
should be successful only with a few, yet the inllueuce of those few and the service 
in their power may be very great. Even a single woman, that wa« wLne, by her 
wisdom saved the city. 

I think, also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained 
from the education of youth than from the exhortation of adult persons, bad habits 
and vices of the mind being, like the diseases of the body, more easily prevented 
than cured. 

I think, moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God, and 


that lip on whom th<y are bestowed, w heiiever a way is open lor the use of them, is 
a« stronjjly called as if ho heanl a voice from lieaven, nothing more surely pointing 
out duty in a ]»ublifi service than the ability and opportunity of performing it. 

Dr. JoliiiKOi) declinod tlie provostsliii) and Br. William Smith was 

American education was begun by the churches, and the higher institutions of learn- 
ing nearly all originated with the ecclesiastical bodies, and most of them are still under 
their control. The University of Pennsylvania was. through the influence of Frank- 
lin, perhaps the first to arise without formal connection with the churches. The col- 
leges and academies of the New England States and of districts supplied from New 
England were chiefly modeled after Harvard, and nearly all drew their teachers from 
these mother institutions and their daughters. Those of the Middle and many of 
the Western States may commonly be traced to the educational eftbrts of the Pres- 
byterian clergy from the north of Ireland and from Scotland, Tlie Puritan and 
Preabyterian congregations have been the chief agencies in our higher educational 
system, and in both cases the interest and the mode was ecclesiastical. Keligion, it 
would appear, was the only force at work in American society which at that time 
was strong enough to overcome the American passion for money making, to insist on 
the excellence of a liberal education, and thus to cherish a love of learning and of 
science until it grew strong enough to stand alone. Only in our own days have 
institutions of the same character been endowed in a few places by the State govern- 

In founding the university it was not associated with any particular 
church, but it s<mght to be at peace with them all. Franklin had to 
contend with the pn^judices of hi.s times. The history of the University 
of Penn.sylvania during tlie eighteenth century and a great i)art of the 
nineteenth is characterized by this separation of academic from ecclesi- 
astical interests.' The university never had a theologicnl school. Its 
faculties, "as strongly called as if they heard a voice from heaven," 
have been gathered from all sects, and the whole character of the insti- 
tution has been free from ecclesiastical bias. Without doubt, as Prof. 
Thomj)son intimates, this condition of the university for so many years 
explains the absence of that western influence so characteristic of Har- 
vard an<l of Yale. It is true that the university, having established 
the first medical school in America, was the parent of all the medical 
schools of the West, but it was the young clergymen and schoolmas- 
ters freshly graduated from Harvard or Yale who fixed, public opinion 
in the Northwest Territory, and towards the South, who laid the foun- 
dations of schools, and who began newspapers in the Ohio valley and 
impartwl to the States west of the original thirteen much of their 
original zeal for education. 

Hut Franklin was in his generation, and his farsightedness is 
now evident. P>xrlesiasticism has given place to at least neutrality in 
the great American universities, but we must not forget that during 
the half century that followed the American revolution, when the West 

' Eletueuta of Political Economy, page 372. 

«8ee Mr. Stewart's pa]ter on the history of the university, infra. 

franklin's ideas in education. 141 

was receiving its immigrants from the Eastern States, the vast ecclesi- 
astical influence of New England carried with it the influence of Har- 
vard and of Yale. If Franklin had been a devout churchman and had 
identitted the Universityof Pennsylvania with a powerful ecclesiastical 
body, without doubt tlie influence of the University of Pennsylvania 
throughout the West would have been gi-eater during the first half of 
the present century.^ Now, however, we have caught up with Frank- 
lin's idea and have seen great universities established in the last 30 
years as free from ecclesiastical association as was the University of 
Pennsylvania in 1749 and as. it is now. It is an interesting subject, 
which we hope some one may be pleased to pursue, to trace the influ- 
ence of the church upon the educational institutions of America and 
show the causes which have led at least to the foundation of institu- 
tions of learning upon a purely academic basis. It is interesting, in- 
deed, that the first institution so founded was Girard College, and this 
institution is in perfect keeping with Franklin's ideas on education. 
We shall have occasion to refer to this phase of Franklin's influence 
in our brief account of Girard College. 

* The letter to Dr. Johnson is of particular interest to the teaching 
profession because it went far to correct the notion i)revalent in the 
eighteenth century, and not wholly dead yet, that talents ^r the edu- 
cation of youth are not a gift of God. It was strange doctrine to Puri- 
tan ears that a teacher was as " strongly called as if he had heard a 
voice from Heaven." 

In Franklin's Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind and 
the Peopling of Countries, written in 1751, he attempted to solve 
another problem in economics. He was the first to point out that 
population increases more rapidly in America than in Europe, and that 
this was due to the ease and convenience of supporting a family in 
America incident to the demand for labor and the abundance and the 
cheapness of land. The population of America must "at least be 
doubled every twenty years," but notwithstanding this increase, he 

So vast is tlio territory of North America that it will require mauy aRea to settle 
it fully, aud until it is fully settled labor will never be cheap here, where uo man 
continues long a laborer for others, but gets a plantation of his own, aud no man 
continues a journeyman to a trade, but goes among those new settlers and sets up 
for himself, etc. 

In proportion to the increase of the colonies there had been a vast demand for 
British manufactures, making a '-glorious market wholly in the power of Britain; 
indeed, foreigners can not interfere. It will increase in a short time even beyond 
her power of supplying, though her whole trade should be to her colonies; therefore 
Britain should *i6t too much restrain manufactures in her colonies. ♦ 

•The distribution of the .matriculates in the University of Pennsylvania, 1740-1891, 
is shown in the tables of attendance infra, showing that the university is strength- 
ening its influence in all parts of the world. 


This good advice was wholly lost, thoug^h it was given tweuty-five 
years before the Declaration of Independence. It is in these Observa 
tions that Franklin applied his ideas of labor to slavery: 

It is an ill-gronuded opinion thaffey the labor of slaves America may possibly Tie 
in cheapness of manufactures with Britain. Labor of slaves can never be so cheap 
here as the labor of workingmcn is in Britain. » » » Why, then, ■will Ameri- 
cans pnrcbaae slaves ? Because slaves may be kept as long as a man pleases, or has 
occasion for their labor, while hired men are continually leaving their masters 
(even iu the midst of business) and setting np for themselves. 

This was Franklin's first discussion of the slave question, to which 
he gave earnest attention to the close of his life, ever advocating the 
abolition of slavery. 

The principal idea of the paper was the future of the English race, 
and he thought that were earth " emptied of other inhabitants it might, 
in a few ages, be replenished from one nation only, as, for instance, 
with Englishmen;" and he then entered upon one of his favorite 
diversions, computing the population of ^S^orth America : 

Thus there 81*0 supposed to be now upwards of 1,000,000 English souls in North 
America, though it is thought scarce 80,000 have been brought over sea, and yet per- 
haps there is not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more, on account of the 
employment the colonies afford to the manufactures at home. This million doubling, 
suppose, birt once in twentj'-five years will, in another centtiry, be more than the 
people of England, and the greatest number of Englishmen will be on this side the 

It has been pointed out that it is a curious fact that this tract of 
Franklin's suggested the celebrated essay on population by Malthus. 
The sentence, "This million doubling, suppose, but once in twenty-five 
years will, in another century, be more than the people of England," 
seems to have suggested to Malthus that population was destined to 
outrun the means of subsistence, as an arithmetical ratio falls behind 
a geometrical. Malthus publi.shed his essay in 1820. William Godwin 
wrote a reply to Malthus, having first attempted to break down Frank- 
lin's statenient.' 

Dr. Franklin [Godwin says] is in this case particularly the object of onr attention, 
becauM" he was the first man who started the idea of the people of America being 
mn]ti)>lied by procreation so as to double every twenty-five years. Dr. Franklin, 
born in Boston, was eminently an American patriot, and the paper from which these 
extracts are taken was expressly written to exalt the importance and glory of his 

Franklin may thus be regarded as the first to call attention in the 
erono?nic world to the ratio between the increase of population and the 
means of its subsistence, in the effort to determine which doctrine the 
jwlitical have ever since been engaged. 

That Franklin should have first formulated the doctrine that labor 
is the wealth producer, anticipating Adam Smith, and should have 

' See Bigelow, Vol. ii, p. 232, note. 

franklin's ideas in education. 143 

first suggested the law of the increase of population, which anticipated 
Malthus, places him among the great economists of the world. 

A year after his letter to Dr. Johnson, in a letter to .Tared Eliot on 
the 12th of September, Franklin refers to the academy in Thiladelpliia, 
later the University of Pennsylvania: 

Our academy flourishes beyoud expectation. Wo have now above 100 Bcholars, 
and the number is daily increasing. We have excellent masters at present, and a« 
we give pretty good salaries, I hope we shall always bo able to procure such. W • 

The rector, who teaches Latin and Greek £200 

The English master jgo 

The mathematical professor • J25 

Three assistant tutors (each £60) jgO 

Total per annum 655 

It will be noticed that in these dtems the pay of the English master 
was as great as that of any of the instructors. Subsequent changes 
in the course of study in the academy led to Franklin's expostulation 
against lowering the plane of the English instruction. His Observa- 
tions Kelative to the Intentions of the Original Founders of the Academy 
in Philadelphia, written thirty-eight years later, are the history of 
these changes and Franklin's protest.^ 

Two years later, on the 19th of April, Franklin wrote to the Rev. 
William Smith, appointed provost of the academy in 1754, and filling 
that office as head of the academy and of the college successfully for a 
period of thirty-seven years, until the University was created in its 
second charter of 1791.* Franklin's letter to Dr. Smith is as follows: 

Philadelphia, April 19, 1753. 

Sir: I received your favor of the 11th instant, with your new piece on education,' 
which I shall carefully peruse and give you my sentiments of it, as you desire, by 
next post. 

I believe the young gentlemen, your pupils, may be entertained and instructed 
here in mathematics and philosophy to satisfaction. Mr. Allison, •« who was educated 
at Glasgow, has been long accustomed, to teach the latter, and Mr. Grew" the former, 
and I think that their pupils make great progress; Mr. Allison has the care of the 
Latin and Greek school, but as he has noAV throe good assistants,'" he can very well 
afi'ord some hours every day for the instruction of those who are engaged in higher 
studies. The mathematical school is pretty well furnished with instruments. The 
English library is a good one, and we have, l»elonging to it, a middling apparatus 

' See Observations Relative to the Intentions of the Original Founders, etc., supra. 

'For much valuable information concerning the academy, the old college, and the 
inception of the University, see Wood's History of the University in Vol. ill of the 
Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

'A general idea of the College of Mirania. (Stuber.) 

*The Rev. Francis Allison, afterwards Vice-Provost of the College iu Philadelphia. 

*Theophilu8 Grew, afterwards Professor of Mathematics in the college. (Stuber 

«Those assistants were at that time Charles Thompson, afterwards Secretary of 
Congress; Paul Jackson, and Jacob Duche. (Stuber. Bigelow, Vol. ii, p. 288.) 


ior f.\i>eiiiii«i»iiil philosophy, and propose speedilj' to complete it. The Loganian 
Library, one of the liest colleetions in -Vinerica, is shortly to be opeued, so that neither 
)K>uks nor iustrunients will be wanting; and as we are determined always to give 
goo<l salaritfl, we have reason to believe we may have always an opportunity of 
fhoosing good masters; upon which, indeed, the success of the whole depends. We 
are obliged to you for your kind ofters in this resp.ect, and when you are settled in 
England we may occasionally make use of your friendship aud judgment. 

If it snits your convenience to visit Philadelphia before your return to Europe, I 
shall be extremely glad to see and converse with you here, as well as to correspond 
with you after your settlement in England, for an acquaintance and communica- 
tion with men of learning, virtue, and public spirit is one of my greatest enjoymenta. 

I do not know whether yon ever happened to see the first proposals I made for 
erecting this academy. I send them inclosed. They had, however imperfect, the 
desired snccess, being followed by a subscription of four thousand pounds towards 
carrying them into execution. As we are fond of receiving advice and are daily 
improving by experience, I am in the hopes we shall, in a few years, see a perfect 

I am, very respectfully, etc. 

B. Franklin. 

Franklin was in sympathy with Dr. Smith's ideas in education. 
They were far in advance of the prevailing sentiment of the times aud 
are substantially embodied in the four years' course prevailing at the 
present time. Prof. Lamberton has shown at length the philosophical 
character of Dr. Smith's educational ideas, and that the University of 
Pennsylvania was the first American institution to adopt the curricu- 
lum common now throughout the country.' Much has been said of 
Franklin's relations to Dr. Smith, and there is a diversity of sentiment 
concerning them. It seems upon consideration of the evidence that 
Dr. Smith leaned to the classical studies, while Franklin preferred the 
English branches. This may possibly be explained by the difference 
in the education of Franklin and Smith. Dr. Franklin would have all 
young men trained as he had trained himself; Dr. Smith, a fine clas- 
sical scholar, would place Latin and Greek above the English language 
in the college. To these fundamental differences between them was 
added the disputes growing out of the relations of the academy and 
the college to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the contentious 
following the war of tlie Revolution. The college was likely to be 
destroyed amidst these serious commotions.^ 

In 1754 Franklin drew his plan of union for the colonies, known as 
the Albany Plan. It illustrates his love of compromise, and the scheme 
as first drawn by Franklin is, "Short Hints towards a Scheme for 

'See Prof. Lam1)erton'8 article on the Department of Arts in the University of 

'For a detailed account of the relations between Franklin and Smith and between 
the college an«l tlie legislature, see, infrn, the Hi.storical Sketch of the University, by 
•John L. Stewart, i-h. B. : The University in its Relations to the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, by the Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker, li,. d. ; The Relationg'of the University 
and the City, by J. G. Rosengarten, a. m. ; The Provosts and Vice-Prtn-osts, by Hon. 
Henry Reed, A. M. ; The Department of Arts, by Prof. William Lamberton, A.M. 



franklin's ideas in education. 145 

uniting the Northern Colonies." While the conimissionerK from the 
colonies, who avssembled at Albarjy, met for the ostensibhi purpose of 
discussing Indian affairs, the subject of a plan of union, the uppermost 
thought in Franklin's mind, received their attention. It is, as pro- 
posed by Franklin, according to the representative idea of govei-nment 
a governor general appointed by the King, having a salary from the 
Crown and a veto on the acts of the grand coun(;il, to be chosen by the 
assembly of one member from each of the smaller colonies and two or 
more from each of the larger. It was an effort to establish for the 
colonies a government similar to that now existing in Canada. Franklin 
says of the Albany Plan : 

The asseml)li«^s all thought there was too much prerogative and in England it 
was thought to have too much of the democratic, and therefore the plan was not 

In 1755 his experiments in killing fowls by electricity led him to 
record: "Too great a charge might indeed kill a man. * * • It 
would certainly, as you observe, be the easiest of all deaths," antici- 
pating modern electrocution. 

His utilitarian philosophy is illustrated in his letter to George White- 
field of July 2, 1756: 

Life, like a dramatic piece, should not only bo conducted with regularity, but, 
methinks, it should finish handsomely. Being now in the last act, I begin to cast 
about for something fit to end with ; or, if mine be more properly compared to an 
epigram, aa some of its lines are but barely tolerable, I am very desirous of concluding 
with a bright point. In such an enterprise! could spend the remainder of life with 
pleasure, and I firmly believe God would bless us with success if we undertook it 
with a sincere regard to His honor, the service of our gracious King, and (which is 
the 8.ame thing) the public good. 

It is in this letter that he thanks Whitefield for his "generous bene- 
factions to the German schools. They go on pretty well, and will do 
better when Mr. Smith, ^ who has at present the principal charge of 
them, shall learn to mind party writing an^ party politics less and his 
proper business more, which, I hope, time will bring about." 

Franklin's love of a comfortable ancestry is illustrated in his letter 
to his wife from London the 0th of September, 1758, in which he gives 
an account of his visit to Huntingdonshire, the ancient home of his 
family. He is there pleased to record of his ancestors that the women 
were smart and sensible ; that the men became wealthy, left off business, 
and lived comfortably; and, as was characteristic of himself, others 
were Clever, " vastly content with their situation, and very cheerful, 
and another a leading man in all county affairs and much employed in 
public busines" — all of which shows Franklin's ideal of men and women. 

'The ill feeling between Smith and Franklin already referred to was intensified by 
the heat of local politics, but it seems tliat the contention between them gradually 
ceased, and so completely that Dr. Smitli accepted the invitation to pronounce the 
eulogy upon Franklin at the time of his death. 

H80 10 


In 1 760, in his letter of May 3 to Lord Kames, he acknowledges the 
receipt of the Principles of Equity, "which," says Franklin, "will be 
of more servit-e to the colony judges, as few of them have been bred to 
the law," and he therefore sent his copy to a particular friend in Phila- 
delphia, one of the judges of the Supreme Court in Pennsylvania, and 
to Rev. William Smith, afterwards Provost of the University. It is in 
this letter that he outlines " a little work for the benefit of youth," to be 
called the Art of Virtue : 

Most people have naturally some virtues, but noue have naturally all the virtues. 
To acquire those that are wanting, and secure what we acquire as well as those we 
have naturally, is as properly au art as painting, navigation, or architecture. If a 
man would become a painter, navigator, or architect, it is not enough that ho is ad- 
vised to be one; that he is convinced by the arguments of his adviser; that it would 
be for his advantage to be one, and that he resolves to be one, but he must also be 
taught the principles of the art, be shown all the methods of working, and how to 
acquire the habits of using properly all the instruments; and thus regularly and 
gradually he arrives by practice at some perfection in the art. If he does not pro- 
ceed thus he is apt to meet with difficulties that discourage him and make him drop 
the pursuit. 

He would have youth become virtuous as he would have them be- 
come "tolerable English writers," by practice, and his theory occurs 
in his writings again and again. 

The limitations on this article prevent me from doing more than to 
refer to some of Franklin's ideas concerning the future of America, but 
one of great moment deserves passing attention; his firm belief that 
Canada should share the fate of the thirteen colonies and form with 
them a united America. This belief of his is outlined in his pamphlet 
entitled, "The Interest of Great Britain with regard to our Colonies 
and the Aquisition of Canada and Guadaloupe," written in 1760. It 
seems strange to us that some English statesmen should have consid- 
ered Guadaloupe as more valuable to the British Empire than Canada; 
Franklin, however, prevailed and Canada was retained. Had his views 
prevailed at the time of the treaty of peace in 1783, Canada would now 
be a part of the United States. 

In the same year, September 27, addressing David Hume from Cov- 
entry, he says, referring to a pamphlet on the Constitution and Gov- 
ernment of Pennsylvania, long attributed to Franklin, but probably 
brought out by his patronage though not written by him: 

I am not a little pleased to hear of your change of sentiment in some particulars re- 
lating to America, because I think it of importance to our general welfare that the peo- 
ple of this nation should have right notions of us, and I know no one that hiw it more 
in his power to rectify their notions than Mr. Hume. I have lately read with great 
pleasure, as I do everything of yours, the excellent essay on the Jealousy of Com- 
merce.' I think it can not but have a good effect in promoting a certain interest 

Essay on "The Jealousy of Trade," No. XXVIII, in Hume's Collected Works; 
Nos. XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXIX, XXX, and XXXI, on Money, Interest, Trade, 
Taxes, and Pablic Credit, are interesting in relation to Franklin's notions on those 


but little thought of by seliish inau au«l scarcely ever mentioned, so that we hardly 
have a name for it — I mean the Interest of hunmnity, or conmion good of mankind. 
But I hope, particularly from that essay, an abatement of the jealousy that reigns 
here of the markets of the colonies, at least so far as such abatement may be rea- 

This is one of the earliest and perhaps the first use of the phrase 
"the general welfare," as relating to America, a phrase destined to 
receive a constantly more extended meaning and to become fixed in 
the public mind by insertion in the Preamble of the Constitution of the 
United States. Probably no philosopher of the eighteenth century con- 
tributed so much to the definition of the " general welfare" as David 
Hume. To his writings may be traced many of the causes of both the 
American and the French revolutions, and Franklin's relations to him, 
their correspondence, and the influence which each had on the other 
are of great interest. If Hume precipitated the French revolution, 
Franklin may be said to have hastened the independence of the Unitetl 
States. As has been already said, Franklin educated the colonies to 
become independent States. 

In November, 1761, he thanks Lord Kames for a copy of his Intro- 
duction to the Art of Thinking, and inquires after the Elements of 
Criticism then in preparation. He adds : 

I promise myself no small satisfaction in perusing that work also. By the first 
you sow thick in the young mind the seeds of common sense concerning moral con- 
duct, which, as they grow and are transplanted into life, must greatly adoni the 
character and habits of the person. Permit me to say that I think I never saw more 
solid useful matter contained in so small a compass, and yet the method and expres- 
sion so clear that the brevity occasions no obscurity. In the other yoti will, by 
alluring youth to the practice of learning, strengthen their judgment, improve and 
enlarge their understfvnding, and increase their abilities of being useful. To produce 
the number of valuable men necessary in a nation for its prosperity, there is much 
more hope through schemes of early institution than from reformation; and as the 
power of a single man to do national service in particular situations of influence is 
often eminently great, a writer can hardly conceive the good he may be doing when 
engaged in works of this kind. I can not therefore btit wish you would publish it 
as soon as your other important employments will permit you to give it a finishing 
hand. With these sentiments you will not doubt my being serious in the intention 
of finishing my Art of Virtue. It is not a mere ideal work. I planned it first in 
1732. I have from time to time made, and caused to be made, experiment* of the 
method with success. The materials have been growing ever since; the form only 
is now to be given it, in which I purpose employing my first leisure after my return 
to my mother country. 

' Evidently Franklin considers his proposed Art of Virtue as the mag- 
num opus of his life. Whenever he receives a work from a distinguished 
author he is quite likely to r,efer to this propose<l work of his as not an 
ideal or theoretical thing but one of great practical utility; somewhat 
conscious of his own infirmities, he thought he might atone for them by 
at least suggesting to others how they might improve in the Art of 


On the 10th of May, 1762, Hume, writing to Franklin from Edinburgh 
on a device for protecting houses from stroke by lightning, says: 

I thought it proper to convey to Jon these two ideas of so ingenious a ntan, that 
yon might adopt them if they appear to you well founded. I am very sorry that 
you intend soon to leave us; I am sure America has sent us many good things, gold, 
silver, sugar, tobacco, indigo, etc., but you are the first philosopher, and indeed the 
first great man of letters for whom we are beholden to her. 

This letter is evidence of the sympathy between Hume and Franklin,' 
who in reply nine days later regretted leaving a country " in which I 
have received so much friendship, and friends whose conversation has 
been so agreeable and so improving to me." 

Public events soon withdrew Franklin from his scientific studies and 
he was concerned with the measures of Parliament. In his letter to 
Charles Thompson of July 11, 1765, he says: 

Depend upon it, my good neighbor, I took every step in my power to prevent the 
passing of the Stamp Act, Nobody could be more concerned and interested than 
myself to oppose it sincerely and heartily, but the tide w'as too strong against us. 
The nation was provoked by American claims to independence, i. e., independent of 
local taxation by Parliament, and all parties joined in resolving by this act to settle 
the point. That we could not do. But since it is down, my friend, and it may be 
long before it rises again, let us make as good a night of it as we can; we may still 
light candles; frugality and industry will go a great way towards indemnifying us. 
Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings ; if we can get rid of the 
former, we may easily bear the latter. 

It was a favorite idea of Franklin's that many of the ills incident to 
bad government were less than the ills which people voluntarily suffer 
from idleness and pride, and he is constantly applying the formula ot 
his moral algebra to the solution of some practical question of the times. 

It was on the 3d of February, 1766, that Dr. Franklin was examined 
at the bar of the House of Commons; that long, severe, and exhaustive 
examination by friends and enemies is the clearest account which we 
have of the relations between England and the American colonies at 
that time. Franklin's practical knowledge of America, due to his ex- 
perience as deputy postmaster of the colonies, and his wise observations 
during his official journeys in the colonies, equipped him to be the 
advocate of the rights of the Americans. For the first time the British 
Parliament heard a truthful account of America. I can only refer to 
this examination as an illustration of all that we have said of Franklin's 
method of conveying knowledge. This examination was the most im- 
portant Socratic dialogue in which Franklin ever engaged. He care- 
fully distinguishes between the right of the colonial assemblies to levy 
local or internal taxes and the right of l*arliament to levy an external 

'Perhaps no better summary of Franklin can be made than Knight's remark about 
Hume-: "Even in the sentimental days of boyhood, his estimates of men and things 
were based, with scarcely an exception, upon ulilily. He was matter-of- 
fact from the first, and he remained uu-ideal to the last. An acute observer, one of 
the keenest and cleverest of critics, he was never known to have been carried away 
by any fervor for what was above and beyond himself. Knight's Life of Hume, p. 8. 


tax or a duty ; lie contending that there was not a single article imported 
into the northern colonies but what they could either do without or 
make themselves, that withindustry and good management they could 
very well supply themselves with all they wanted, it would not take a 
long time to establish manufactures among them, and it was his opiuion 
that before their old clothes were worn out they would have new ones 
of their own making. The whole examination shows that in Franklin's 
opinion the Americans were i)repared to be self-supporting, and it is 
interesting as formulating the principal points which were afterwards 
used by Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations as illustrations of his 
economic theories respecting new countries. 

Meanwhile the influence of Hume, Voltaire, Turgot, and Quesnay 
and of others who had worked out in their philosophy a scheme for the 
regeneration of mankind, was rapidly precipitating the revolutiims of 
177G in America and of 1787 in France. It will always be a matter of 
speculation to what extent Hume and Adam Smith and Franklin by 
their philosophy contributed to hastening these stupendous changes. 
I can only refer to them and leave to others the elaboration of this 
interesting subject. 

Among the brilliant thinkers of the eighteenth century were a num- 
ber of men now known as the i)hysiocrats, from the general title given 
in 1768 to the first volume of Quesnay's collected works, published by 
his disciple, Dupont de Nemours. The physiocrats sought a universal 
exposition of the wants of man and how these wants should be met in 
the natural constitution and the natural order of human society. Gov- 
ernment should be according to the nature of things; the world is gov- 
erened by immutable physical and moral laws; it is for man, an intelli- 
gent and free being, to discover them and to obey them or to violate 
them for his own good or evil; the end assigned to the exercise of his 
intellectual and i)hysical powers is the appropriation of matter for the 
satisfaction of his wants and the improvement of his condition, and to 
the general accomplishment of this task conformably to the idea of the 
just, which is the correlative of the idea of the useful. Man forms an 
idea of justice and utility, both individual and social, through the no- 
tions of duty and right which his nature reveals to him and which 
teach him that it is contrary to his good and the general welfare to 
seek his own advantage in a damage done to others. This idea enter- 
ing the minds of individuals and peoples in proportion to the incre^ase 
of enlightenment and the advance of civilization, they naturally i)ro- 
duce feelings of fraternity among men and peace among peoples. The 
chief manifestations of justice are liberty and prosperity; that is to say, 
the right of each one to do that which shall in no way concern the gen- 
eral welfare, and to use at his pleasure the things which he possesses, 
the acquirement of which is conformable to the nature of things and to 
the general utility, since without liberty and i)roperty there would have 
been no civilization and a very much smaller amount of good at the 


disposition of jnaii. Liberty and property si)riiig, then, from tlie nature 
of man, and are rights so essential tliat laws or ajjfreements amonjL;; men 
should be limitetl to recognizing them, to formulating them, to saving 
them. Governments Jiave no mission but to juotect these two rights 
which, with a correct understanding of things, embrace all the material 
and moral wants of society. To say that liberty and property are 
essential rights, is to say that they are in harmony with the general 
interest of the species; that is to say, that with them land is more ier- 
tile and the industry of man in its manifestations more productive, and 
the development of all his moral, intellectual, scientific, and artistic 
aptitudes swifter; they are in the field of the good and beautiful and 
just and the useful ; that is to say, through them man best gathers the 
fruit of his own efforts and that he is not at least the victim of the arbi- 
trary laws of his fellow men. 

As the physiocrats were utilitarians,' Franklin, whose visit to France 
occurred at the time when physiocraty was in fashion^ became a disciple 
of Quesnay. Quesnay's notion that "the happiness of the majority de- 
pends much less upon the mechanism of governmental forms than on 
the development of human industry, and that it is impossible to discuss 
politics rationally without having previously acquired a knowledge of 
the economy of society" was exactly after Franklin's, Numerous quo- 
tations from Franklin's works, both before and after 1 7(58, would i)rove 
this. With Adam Smith the physiocrats combated the mercantile 
theory which made wealth to consist only in the precious metals, and 
which exaggerated the advantages of foreign commerce ; they combated, 
also, the infatuation for the manufacturing system; Franklin's ideas 
of economy were founded upon an agricultural basis, for he knew 
America, and America was then agricultural. The theory of the phys- 
iocrats that agriculture was the true basis of all government doubtless 
appealed to Franklin. In his letter of July 28, 1768, to Dupont de 
Nemours, he acknowledges — 

The most acceptable gift of yonr '^Physiocratie" (Origine fet Progres d'nne science 
notivelle), which I have read with great pleasure, aud received from it a great deal 
of instruction. There is so much freedom from local aud national ])rejudiceH and 
partialities, so much benevoleuce to mankind in general, so much goodness mixed 
with the wisdom in the principles of your new philosoi)hy, that I am perfectly 
charmed with them and wish I could have stayed in France for some time to have 
studied in your school, that I might, by conversing with its founders, have nuide 
myself quite a master of that philosoidjy. I had, before I went into yonr country, 
seen some letters of yours to Dr. Templeman that gave me a high opinion of the 
doctrines you are engaged in cultivating, and of your personal talents and abili- 
ties, which made me ;^reatly desirous of seeing you. Since I had not that good 
fortune, the next best thing is that which you are so good as to offer me — your cor- 
respondence — which I shall ever highly value and endeavor to cultivate with all 
the diligence I am capable of. I am sorry to find that that wisdom which sees the 
welfare of the parts in the prosperity of the whole seems yet not to be known in 
this country (England). * ' * It is from your philosophy only that the maxims 

• See Art. Physiocrats, by John Gamier Lalor, Vol. ui. * 

franklin's ideas in education. 151 

of the coutrjiiy and more happy conduct are to be drawn, which I therefore kIii- 
cerely wish may grow aud increase until it beconii-s the jroveming philosophy of 
the human species, as it must he that of superior beings in better worlds. I take 
the liberty of sending you a little fragment that is somewhat tinctured by it, which 
on that account may be acceptable. Be so good as to i)re8ent my sincere respect to 
that venerable apostle, Dr. Quesuay, and to the illustrious Ami des Honimes (of 
whose civilities to me at Passy I retain a grateful remembrance). 

Dupont de Nemours' found it convenient during the French Revo- 
lution to emigrate to the United States, and on his return he assisted 
in negotiating tlie purchase of Louisiana by the United States, and, 
at the request of Jefferson, prepared a scheme of national education 
for the young Republic, which was published in 1812, and entitled ''Sur 
I'Education Rationale dans les Etats Unis." 

In Dr. Adams's Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia' 
an interesting account is given of the survival of French influence in 
America, and particularly of the work of Quesnay and Dupont de 
l!femours and their distinguished associates in founding the Richmond 
Academy, and also a particular account of Dupont de Nemours's trea- 
tise on national education and the influence of that treatise at the 
time. I take great pleasure in referring the reader not only to this 
interesting effort so intimately associated with Franklin, but also to 
the whole of Dr. Adams's most admirable monograph. 

The influence of the physiocrats on Franklin is discernible in bis 
speeches in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, particularly in his 
last speech.^ 

Franklin's method of arriving at a conclusion is outlined in his letter 
to Dr. Priestley, September 19, 1772. In order to get over the uncer- 
tainty and perplexity incident to making up his mind on a subject, he 
says : 

My way ia to divide half « sheet of paper by a line into two columns, writing over 
the one pro and over the other con; then, during three or four days' consideration, I 
put down under the different heads short hiuts of the diftereut motives that at dif- 
ferent times occur to me for or against the measure. When I have thus got them all 
together in one view I endeavor to estimate their respective weights and where I 
find two (one on each side) that seem equal I strike them b«)th out. If I find a 
reason pro equal to some two reasons con I strike out the three. If 1 judge some 
two reasons con equal to some three reasons pro I strike out the five; and thus pro- 
ceeding I find at length where the balance lies; and if. after a day or two of further 
consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side I come to a 

'The descendants of this eminent man have for generations been educated at the 
Univei-sity of Pennsylvania; the seat of the family is in Delaware. 

•Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia, by Herb«!rt B. Adams, Ph. D., 
United States Bureau of Education, Circular of Information No. 1, 1888. pp. 21-30, 
49-54. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1888. 

3For the doctrines of the physiocrats see Quesnay's Tableau Economiqne, 1758, 
L'Ami des Hommes, 6 vols., 1755-1760; Turgot's Refiexious sur la formation et la 
Destruction des Richesses. Adam Smith also has an instructive chapter on the 


determiuatiou accorcliugly. And though the weight of reasons can uot be taken 
with the precision of algebraic quantities, yet when each is thus considered sepa- 
rately and coniimratively and the whole lies before uiel think I can judge better and 
am less liable to make a rash 8tej>; and in fact I have found great advantage from 
this kind of equation in what may be called moral or prudential algebra. 

This method of arriving at a conclusion could be suggested only by 
a man like Franklin, who based his notions upon comparison of conflict- 
ing claims, and whose powers in forming such conclusions were so great 
that they equipped him for a large service of diplomacy. Through- 
out his schemes for the education of youth he emphasizes the value of 
comparison as an element in education, and perhaps no more curious 
or pertinent illustration can be found of his fondness for this exercise 
than in his prudential algebra. 

Franklin's sympathy with mankind and his love of books made him 
a prolific writer, and his numerous short articles, not wholly unlike 
his old models in the Spectator, accumulated rapidly after 1770, but it 
should not be imagined that these apparently easy contributions for 
the pleasure of his friends were not the result of great labor. The ex- 
istence of several revisions of the original copy attest the labor with 
which the final form was reached, and some of these copies are so freely 
interlined as to be almost illegible. The perfection of the style of many 
of these bagatelles led to their introduction into the readers in our 
schools, and by a singular destiny Franklin contributed to the educa- 
tion of youth many articles such as, in his Plan for an English School, 
he advises should be read by children. Many of these short stories 
have become English classics. 

One of the few references in Franklin's writings to civil service is 
found in his letter to Mr. Timothy, November 3, 1772, in which he says: 

I am sorry yon talk of leaving off your business with the view of getting some 
post (that is, public office) ; it is so difficult a matter to obtain anything of the kiiid 
that I think to leave a good trade in hopes of an office is quitting a certainty for an 
uncertainty and losing substance for shadow. I have known so many bore (London) 
dangling and soliciting years for places until they were reduced to the lowest pov- 
erty and distress, that I can not but pity a man who begins to turn his thoughts that 
way. The proverb says, " He who has a trade has a fetist of profit and honor because 
he does not hold it during another man's pleasure and it affords him honest subsist- 
ence with independence." I hope, therefore, you will alter your mind and go on with 
your business. 

This a<lvice about office-seeking has beeulost upon many Americans. 

Franklin's respect for the trades is well known; he never ftngot that 
he liad been an api)rentice, and always found satisfaction in describing 
himself as a printer. His utilitarian ideas found illustration in the im- 
provement of common utensils and instruments in daily iise. For in- 
stance, in his letter of April 11, 1773, to William Dean, he knows of 
nothing new worth communicating from London — 

Unless, perhaps, the new art of making carriage wheels ; the felloes of one piece 
bent into a circle and surrounded with a hoop of iron, the whole very light and 
strong, there being no crossgrain in the wood; it is also a great saving of timber. 

franklin's ideas in education. 153 

The wood is first steamed in the vapor from boiliug water and then bent by a. forci- 
ble njachine. 1 liave seen pieces of wood so bent of (5 inches wide and »i thick into 
a circle of 4 feet diameter. These for duration <an only he exceeded by your own 
iron wheels; pray, have you completed that ingenious invention? 

Ill this letter, also, lie says : 

I have completed my stove, in which the smoke of the coal is all turned into f.ame 
and operates as fuel in heating the room. I have used it all this winter and find it 
answers even beyond my expectations. I propose to jtrint a little description of its 
use and construction and shall send you a copy. 

All of this he did soon after. He was the first to devise the smoke- 
consuming stove, the principle of which has been largelj- ai)plied in the 
construction of railroad locomotives, in city factories, and should be 
much more widely applied. 

"The doctrines of life and death in general are yet but little under- 
stood," he writes to M. Dubourg, and proceeds to describe a toad that 
long contained in a stone came to life. The curious revival of the toad 
led Franklin to remark on an instance of common flies preserved in a 
manner somewhat similar: 

They had been drowned in Madeira wine apparently about the time it waa bottlea 
in Virginia to be sent later to Loudon. At the opening of one of the bottles at the 
house of a friend where I then was, three drowned flies fell into the first glass that 
Avas filled. Having heard it remarked that drowned flies were capable of being 
revived by being placed in the rays of the suu, I proposed making an experiment" 
with these. They were, therefore, exposed to the suu iipon a sieve, which had been 
employed to straiu them out of the wine. lu less thau three hours two of them 
began by degrees to recover life. They comiuenced by some convulsive motions of 
the thighs, and at length they raised themselves u])OU their legs, wiped their eyes 
with their fore feet, beat aud brushed their wings with tlieir hind feet, and soon 
after began to fly, fiuding themselves in Old England, without knowing how they 
came thither. The third continued lifeless till sunset, then, losing all hopes of him, 
he was thrown away. 

This experiment was not lost on Franklin ; he adds: 

I wish it w«re possible, from this instance, to invent a method of embalming 
drowned persons in such a manner that they may be recalled to life at any period 
however distant; for, having a very urgent desire to see and observe the state of 
America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death the being 
inuuersed in a cask of Madeira wine, Avith a few friends, until that time, to be then 
recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country. But since, in all proba- 
bility, we live in an age too early aud too near the infancy of science to hope to see 
such an art brought, in our time, to its perfection, I must for the i»resent content 
myself Avith tlie treat, Avhich you are so kind as to promise, of the resurrection of a 
fowl or a turkey cock. 

In 1773 appeared his rules for reducing a great empire to a small 
one, presented to a late minister, as is supposed, Lord Ilillsboro. In 
this unique article Franklin illustrated his sagacity in addressing the 
public in order to reach tlie ministry. Though the paper has lost much 
of its point by the lapse of time, it holds its place in the first rank of 
American political satires. It eventually accomplished the end for 
which it was written, the enlightenment of the British public. 


Franklin's utilitarian ideas found illustration in the square tiles 
which jnany Americans will remember as ornamenting the chimneys in 
the okren time. Franklin thought that the fireplace was fit to give 
moral instruction. He advised an ejjgraver in 1773 to borrow ^'from 
the bookseller's the plates that had been used in a thin folio called 
Moral Virtue ])elineated, for tlie purpose of obtaining the pictorial 
illustrations." The Dutch Delft ware tiles were much used in America, 
"which are only, or chiefly, Scriptural histories^ wretchedly scrawled. 
I wish to have these moral i)rints, ^hicli were originally taken from 
Horace's poetical figures, introduced on tiles, which, being about our 
chimneys aud constantly in the eyes of children when by the fireside, 
might give i)arents an opportunity in explaining to impress moral 
sentiments." These notions of education might possibly make the sub- 
ject of a chapter in his Art of Virtue. 

He lost no opportunity to ujake experiments in politics, morality, 
and natural history. As an instance of his interest in experimenting 
to determine the effect of oil in stilling the wg.ves in a storm, he tells 
us, in a letter of November 7, 1773, to Dr. Brownrig, how, in his youth, 
he had "smiled at Pliny's account of the practice among the seamen of 
his time to still the waves in a storm by pouring oil into the sea," and 
recollecting what he had formerly read in Pliny he resolved "to make 
some experiments of the effect of oil on water when I should have op- 
portunity," and after mentioning several experiments, he records: 

After this, I contrived to take with me, whenever I went into the country, a little 
oil in the upper hollow joint of a hamboo cane, with which I might repeat the ex- 
periment as opportunity should afford, and I find it constantly to succeed. 

Another experiment of his in morality was an abridgment of the 
Book of Common Prayer, made by Lord De Lespencer with the assist- 
ance of Franklin. Franklin spent some time at the country residence 
of Lord De Lespencer in 1773, and doubtless wrote the preface to the 
abridgment. He wished to adapt the Book of Common Prayer to the 
wants of— 

Many pious and devout persona, wliose age or infirmity will not suffer them to 
remain for hours in a cold church, eHpecially in the winter season, and of the younger 
sort who would proba1»ly more frecjuently as more (jheerfuUy attend divine service 
if they were not detained so long at any one time. Also many well-disposed trades- 
men, shopkeepers, artificers, and others, whose habitations are not remote from 
V churches might come, and would more frequently, at least find time to attend divine 
service on other than Sundays if the prayers were reduced to a much narrower Qom- 

The preface continues somewhat elaborately defending the changes 
which have been made, but the abridgment attracted "little notice," 
and "the book became waste paper." The whole purpose of the abridg- 
ment was in keeping with Franklin's utilitarian ideas. 

On the 2l8t of July, 1775, Franklin brought forward a plan for the 
union of the Colonies, called " Articles of Confederation and Perpetual 
Union proposed in General Congress." They were the first of the kind, 

franklin's ideas in education. 155 

but there is no evidence from the journals or from references to the de 
bates in Congress at the time that FrankHn's articles were referred to 
a committee or generally considered. It was not until nearly six yean* 
had passed that similar articles' were adopted by the requisite number 
of States. The second article is of interest, as it contains the elements 
afterwards united in the Preamble to the National Constitution. 

Art. II. The said united colonies hereby severally enter into a firm leagne of friend- 
ship with each other, binding on themselves and tlieir posterity, for their common 
defense against their enemies; for the security of their liberties and properties; the 
safety of their persons and families, and their mutual and general welfare. 

The articles are more like those adopted under the title of " Articles 
of Confederation of 1777" than the National Constitution of ten years 
later, but they suggest Franklin's ideas of government, the applica- 
tion of his utilitarian philosophy and the general democratic basis on 
which he would found government. 

Franklin conceived that a nation is permanent; that it has the power 
of readjusting itself to new conditions; this is the national idea. Of 
this idea Franklin was the northern exponent. He anticipated Lincoln 
in that he would found all civil institutions upon the essential interests 
of the people; Franklin bore the same relation to the colonies in 1776 
which Lincoln bore to the new Union in 1865; each opened a book in 
American history. The faith which Franklin had in the power of the 
people to adjflst themselves to new conditions is repeatedly illustrated 
in his w ritings. 

In a characteristic article, entitled "A Petition of the Left Hand to 
those who have the Superinteudency of Education," written in 1779, 
Franklin made a plea for the equal training of the hands. He thought 
that children should be taught to use either hand with fticility, and that 
the customary preference given to the right hand limited not only the 
usefulness of the left, but impeded the skill of the individual in the 
many accomplishments of life. He anticipated Froebel in his idea of 
the free industrial training of the child and in the even development 
of all the functions and organs of the body. 

Had international law not existed prior to the time of Franklin, he 
would have originated a system; his practical mind sought to amelior- 
ate the condition of mankind. In a letter from Passy, May 30, 1780, 
he says: 

All the internal states of Europe seem at present disposed to change what they 
have before deemed the law of nations, to wit: That an enemy's property Tuay b« 
taken wherever found, and to establish the rule that free ships make free goods. 
This nilT is itself so reasonable and of a nature to be so beneficial to mankind that 
I cau not but wish it may become general, and I make no doubt but that the Con- 
gress will agree to it in as full an extent as France and Spain. 

This doctrine that free ships make free goods wa& a favorite one with 
Franklin, and is frequently mentioned by him. 

' See the text of the articles, Bigelow, Vol. V, p. 548. 


On the 5th of June following he writes to Charles W. F. Dumas: 

I approve much of the priuciples of the confederacy of the neutral poivers, and 
am not only for respecting the ships as the house of a friend, though containing the 
goods of an enemy, but I even wish, for the sake of humanity, that the law of na- 
tions may be further improved by determining that even in time of war all those 
kinds of people who are employed in procuring subsistence for the species, or in ex- 
changing the necessaries or conveniences of life, which are for the common benefit 
of mankind, such as husbandmen on their lands, fishermen in their barks, and 
traders in unanned vessels, shall be permitted to prosecute their several innocent 
and useful employments without interruption or molestation, and nothing taken 
from them, even when wanted by the enemy, but on paying a fair price for the 

Franklin incorporated this idea in the last diplomatic act of his life — 
the treaty with Prussia — which was so highly commended- by Wash- 

On the loth of May, 1781, in his letter to Samuel Cooper, exptessing 
sentiments on the adoption of the new constitution of Massachusetts, ^ 
he again illustrates his faith in the power of the people to adjust them- 
selves to new conditions: 

It gives me great pleasure to learn that your new* constitution is at length settled 
with so great a degree of unanimity and general satisfaction. It seems to me upon 
the whole an excellent one, and that if there are some parts that one might have 
wished a little different they are such as could not in the present state of things have 
been well obtained otherwise than they are, and if by experience found inconvenient 
will probably be changed hereafter. * 

He disapproved the provision in the constitution for public taxation 
to maintain the clergy; did not think it right to tax Quakers and 
others who do not approve of the New England ecclesiastical system, 
and advocated that abolition of religious qualifications which was 
effected in Massachusetts in 1820, and before the close of the first quar- 
ter of the present century had disappeared from nearly all the State 
constitutions. Franklin, like Jefferson, disapproved of both property 
and religious qualifications for the exercise of the franchise. 

Franklin's utilitarian ideas appear on every page of his writings. 
The custom in America of planting rows of trees along our streets, 
Avliich has added a touch of beauty to our towns, had the approval of 
Franklin, who said in a letter to Francis Hopkinson of Dr member 24, 

I own I now wish we had two rows of them in every one of our streets. The com- 
fortable shelter they would aflford us wlieu walking, from our burning simimer 
suns, and the greater coolness of our walls and pavements, would, I conceive, in the 
improved health of the inhabitants, amply compensate tlie loss of a house now and 
then by fire, if such shouhl be the consequence; but a tree is soon felled, and as axes 
are at hand in every neighborhood, may be down before the engines arrive. 

It is noticeable that an argument now common for the planting of 
trees, the additional beauty of the, street, is not suggested by Franklin. 

' John Adams' criticism on this point, p. 171. 

* The constitution of 1780, the only one of the eighteenth-century State constitu- 
tiona now in force was amended in 1820 to abolish religious qualifications. 

franklin's ideas in education. 157 

It probably did not-occur to him. Seldom indeed does ho advo<iite the 
beautiful when the utilitarian is also an ar^f ument. He was somewiiat 
of a Philistine in his notions, and his (;onstant rei)etiti«»n of the 
useful and the beneficial resolves his whole scheme of education int« 
a broad system, Avhich, though promoting the general welfare, would 
be none the less strong if embellished with an element of the beautiful. 
To Franklin the cooling shade of the tree and the consequent iniproved 
health of the inhabitants was the chief reason for planting the trees 
along our streets, but we occasionally yearn in Franklin's writings for a 
few words that would intimate an occasional appreciation of a thing 
that was not merely an industrial improvement or an instrument for 
material comfort. Franklin was deficient in the sense of the beautiful 
and throughout his scheme for the education of children, and in what- 
soever intimations of his ideas of education there may be scattered 
through his works, we can gather little that encourages the study of art 
for art's sake. He was fond of music and was a discriminating listener. 
We should not forget that the American colonies were meagerly sup- 
plied with beautiful things, that their amusements were somewhat rude, 
and they had few notions of the artistic in education. Franklin, too, 
was born in New England, and theplain, substantial comforts of his New 
England home always satisfied his ideals of life. As be knew nothing 
of the artistic in his own training and education, he made no provision 
for it in the education of others. We may say, then, that in the whole 
eflfort of American education to teach the beautiful in art, music, paint- 
ing, and drawing we have an education which was not begun by Frank- 
lin. But in our industrial schools, our technical schools, our manual- 
training schools, and our means for teaching and acquiring skill in the 
applied arts we have the consummation of Frankliu's most cherished 
notions in education. 

From Bayne's journal we have a brief but interesting account of 
Franklin's conversation on a number of important matters. John Bayue, 
an intimate friend of Sir Samuel Kommilly, visited Franklin at Passy 
in August, 1783. It is of this visit that Rommily wrote in his journal: 

Of all the celebrated persons whom iu my life I have chanced to see. Dr. Franklin, 
both from his appearance and his conversation, seemed to me the most remarkable, 

The conversation on American politics led Dr. Franklin to express 
his belief in universal suffrage. He said he thought that " the all of 
one man was as dear to him as the allot another j" though he excluded 
from participation in the franchise minors, servants, and others liable 
to uudue influence. We should not forget that at this time religious 
and property qualifications obtained iu nearly all the Ameri<'an States, 
and the abolition of these qualifications did not come until Franklin 
had been dead fifty years. Franklin's love of mankind led him U> advo- 
cate manhood suffrage, and he stands with the Jeffersonian school, 
in this respect.. 

In this conversation Franklin advanced a favorite notion of his — that 


he inclined "to doubt of the necessityof having teachers or ministers for 
the express purpose of instructing the people in their religious duties," 
and approved of the system among the Quakers, who have no preach- 
ers, their mode of instruction encouraging all to i)articipate in the 
meeting who think themselves qualified to contribute to the welfare of 
their neighbors. . 

He thought that the general peace of Europe might be secured if the 
powers would " refer all disputes between each other to some third 
person or set of men or power. Other nations, seeing the advantage 
of this, would gradually accede, and perhaps in one hundred and fifty 
or two hundred years all Europe would be included." His mind was 
so universal in its consideration of the wants of mankind and he was 
so accustomed to consider matters of international concern that he 
arrived at the solution of international difficulties — arbitration — gen- 
erations before it was actually employed. The humane and peaceful 
method of arriving at a judgment in disputes between nations, such 
as has been witnessed in the settlement of the Alabama claims, conforms 
with Franklin's views expressed eighty-eight years before. This antici- 
pation of the condition of international aftairs of the future suggests 
again that Franklin would have contributed to the world a system of 
international law had none existed before his day. 

Amidst the cares of public office his mind turned to the scenes of his 
boyhood, and there is a delightful touch of nature in his expression of 
his feelings concerning his native place, expressed in a letter to Samuel 
Mather, written at Passy, May 12, 1784 : 

Hong much to see my native place and to lay ray bones there. I left it in 1723; I 
visited it in 1733, 1743, 1753, 1763. In 1773 I was in England; in 1775 I had a sight 
of it, bnt could not enter it, being in the possession of the enemy. I had hoped to 
have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission from this employment 
here, and now I fear I shall never have that happiness. My best wishes, however, 
attend my dear country: Esto perpetual It is now blessed with an excellent con- 
stitntion. May it last forever. 

Few indeed of New England birth are there who do not feel with 
Franklin a strong desire at times to revisit their native place. The 
wish of Franklin that the constitution of his native place might be 
perpetual seems in process of fulfillment, for the constitution of 1780, 
which Franklin knew, remains the supreme law of Massachusetts. 

The estimate which we have placed upon the work of Franklin is 
quite like that which his contemporaries placed upon that work. On 
the 26th of July, 1784, the Count de Campomanes, writing from Madrid, 
acknowledged through Mr. Camichael, a letter from Franklin and a 
collection of his miscellaneous writings. 

All these writings [continued he] exhibit proofs of their having proceeded from 
a statesman endowed with foresight and vigilant for the best interest* of his 
country, according to the political combinations and systems of government under 
which they were composed; and they manifest, at the same time, founded on prin 
ciples and calculations carried to as high a degree of demonstration as the vicissi- 

franklin's ideas in education. 159 

inde and inoonsistency of the varibua systems adopted for the );overnineDt of men 
will admit. Your views and reflections show the solidity and permanence of your 
principles, whether considered as applicable to the American colonics in their for- 
mer condition, or in that of independent States. In both cases your efforts have 
been directed to the general good, without rnnning into tht)se extremes which ar»i 
apt to lead astray weak minds in so long and arduous a contest, as we have seen in 
America, for the establishment of a new State, consisting of thirteen provinces under 
different constitutions, and, at last, united in a bond of union for the mutual bene- 
fit of each other. Nature, which you so profoundly studied, is indebted to you for 
investigating and explaining phenomena which wise men had not before been able to 
understand; and the great American philosopher, at the same time he discovers 
these phenomena, suggests useful methods for guarding men against their dangers. 

Franklin was fond of suggesting the future greatness of America; 
its increasing population, its acquisition of territory, and the spread of 
the English language not only throughout America, but throughout the 
world. In a letter to William Strahan, Passy, August 19, 1784, he 
touches on this : 

By the way, the rapid growth and extension of the English language in America 
must become greatly advantageous to the booksellers and holders of copyright in 
England. A vast audience is assembling there for English authors, ancient, present, 
and future, our people doubling every twenty years ; and this will demand large and 
of course profitable impressions of your most valuable books. I Avould, therefore, 
if I possessed such rights, entail tliem, if such a thing be practicable, upon my pos- 
terity; for their worth will be continually augmenting. 

This is a prophecy of the circulation of Macaulay, Thackeray, Di'^kens, 
Tennyson, and other writers who have found their largest audiences in 
America. The recent perfection of the international copyright tends 
to the realization of Franklin's suggestion of "entailing" such rights 
to the advantage of the posterity of English writers. In the same 
letter he says : 

The subject, however, leads me to another thought, which is that you do wrong to 
discourage the emigration of Englishmen to America. In my piece on population 
I have jwoved, I think, that emigration does not diniinish, but multiplies a nation. 
You will not have fewer at home for those that go abroad, and as every man who 
comes among us and takes up a piece of land becomes a citizen, and by our Consti- 
tution has a voice in elections and a share in the Government of the country, why 
should you be agaiust acquiring by this fair means a repossession of it, and leave it 
to be taken by foreigners of all nations and languages, who by their numbers may 
drown and stifle the English, which otherwise would probably become in the course 
of two centuries the most extensive language in the world, the Spanish only excepted f 
It is a fact that the Irish emigrants and their children are now in possession of the 
Government of Pennsylvania by their majority in the Assembly, as well ns of a great 
part of the territQry, and I remember well the first ship that brought any of them 

The present agitation of the question of immigration, based upon the 
danger to American institutions of stifling their Anglo-Saxon charac- 
ter, suggests how true was Franklin's anticipation. It is also true that 
the occupation of Central and South America by Spain made the Spanish 
language one of the imperial languages of the worhl, and that Spanish 
and English, a century after Franklin wrote this letter, are the two 


most extensive langjuages in the new world. These wise judgments of 
Franklin were based upon intuition, rather than upon reason, for many 
of the elements which would enter into such a conclusion were beyond 
the view of Franklin. We should not forget that facilities for acquiring 
the almost innumerable data which lead to such conclusions were greatly 
limited in liis time, and the comprehensive character of h^s mental opera- 
tions becomes the more remarkable when we reflect upon the limitations 
under which such operations proceeded. As a case in point, we might 
refer to Mr. Bryce's American Commonwealth, a remarkable book, i)ro- 
duced by a scholarly and sympathizing Englishman, whose intuitions 
equipped him to describe xVmericau institutions, but whose reasons for 
the character of our institutions are frequently defective. There must 
be in Franklin's philosophy a dependence upon the intuitions rather 
than a scheme for the enlargement of the reasoning powers; he ob- 
served, he felt, he knew ; speculation attracted him but little, and he 
judged of the utilities almost wholly by intuition. 

After the war it was realized by thoughtful Americans that the Arti- 
cles of Confederation were defective, and that a Isational Constitution 
was necessary. I can not follow minutely the thoughts and the work 
of Franklin for the National Constitution, but there are several passages 
in his writings which illustrate his views. Writing to George Whate- 
ley, from Passy, May 23, 1785, he says : 

Our Constitution seems not to be well understood with you. If the Congress 
were a permanent body, there would be more reason in being jealous of giving it 
powers. But its members are chosen annually; can not be chosen more than three 
years successively, nor more than three years in seven ; and any of them may be 
recalled at any time, whenever their constituents shall be dissatisfied with their 
conduct. They are of the people, and return again to mix with the people, having 
no more durable preeminence than the diflferent grains of sand in an hourglass. 
Such an assembly can not easily become dangerous to liberty. They are the serv- 
ants of the people, sent together to do the people's }»usiness, and promote the pub- 
lic welfare; their powers must be sufficient, or their duties can not be performed. 

He did not value highly the mere forms of government, and his keen 
recognition of the essential importance of administration, rather than 
elaborate statements of the theory of government, is repeatedly set 
forth from this time on. Destined himself to participate in the making 
of the National Constitution, it is interesting to follow the communica- 
tion of his own ideas, gained through his long and useful public life. 
1 think I interpret him correctly when I say that he valued a useful 
administration of government more highly than a good form of govern- 
ment badly administered.' Perhaps Franklin displays the greatness 
of his practical judgment nowhere more instructively than in his ap- 
preciation of the imi)()rtance of administration of government. The 
eighteenth century i)roduced many eminent men who contributed to 

' See his last speech in the convention of 1787, in which he says : " I think a gen- 
eral government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may 
be a blessing to the people if well administered." P. 13, supra. 


our knowledge of the theory of government, but it produ(;e<l very few 
men who were able to set forth the principleH by which government 
should be administered. In this respect Franklin stands almost alone, 
perhaps with the exception of Alexander Hamilton, quite alone. Each 
of these eminent men foresaw the great problem of our century, th«* 
problem of the administration of government. We no longer debate, 
as did the Junto a hundred and fifty years ago, the theoretical abstrac- 
tions of government, but our practical affairs are administrative in 
their nature, and Franklin illustrates the perennial freshness of his 
mind and its modern character in his emphasis of the importance of 
the administration of affairs. He was as much a citizen of to-day as 
one of us. 

Perhaps in further illustration of the modern character of his mind 
I might refer again, in passing, to his opinions regarding the inclusion 
of Canada with the thirteen colonies in the treaty of 1783. For many 
years he had advocated the united interests of the thirteen colonies, 
and he continued this advocacy through life. Had he not been pros- 
trated by a sudden attack of the gout, and had his colleagues possessed 
his clear insight into the fnture, without doubt the United States would 
now include Canada. 

In 1785 he returned to America and was greeted by the Assembly of 
Pennsylvania as ''a person who was so greatly instrumental informing 
its free constitution."^ He was also welcomed in a formal address by 
the Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors of the University.* 

The welcome of the University is evidence of the profound interest 
which Franklin took in education, and of the recognition of his serv- 
ices to education in Pennsylvania. 

As the weakness of the Confederation disclosed itself, suggestions 
for a " more perfect union " became frequent from the eminent men of 
the country. In writing to his beloved friend, Dr. Shipley, Bishop of 
StT Avsaph, February 24, 1786, Franklin says: 

You seem desirous of knowing what progress we are making here iu improving 
our government. We are, I think, in the right road rif improvemont, for we are 
making exporimentn. I do not oppose all that seem wrong, for the multitude are 
more eifectually set right by experience than kept from going wrong hy reasoning 
with them. And I think we are daily more and more enlightened, so that I have no 
doubt of our obtaining in a few years as much public felicity as good government is 
capable of affording. Your newspapers are filled with fictitious accounts of anarchy, 
confusion, distresses, and miseries we are. supposed to be involve«l iu, as conse- 
quences of the Revolution; and the few remaining friends of the old government 
among us take pains to magnify every little inconvenience a change in the course of 
commerce may have occasioned. 

Franklin's calm remark at a time when the Confederation was greatly 
in danger by such commotions as Shay's Relwllion, that " we are mak- 
ing experiments," recalls Jefferson's opinion of that insurrecti on: 

' See the address of the Assembly, Bigelow, Vol. IX, p. 248. 
• ' See p. 110. 



ConimotionB oft'er nothing threatening; they aro a proof that the people have lib- 
erty enough, and I coulcl not wish them less than they have. If the happiness of 
the mass of the people can be seciind by the occasional expense of a little temjier 
now and then, or even of a little blood, it will be a precions purchase. 

To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the 
public liberty. 

A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. ,* * * An observation of this 
truth shonld render honest repul)lican governors so mild in their punishment of re- 
bellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine nece«s.iry fur the 
sound health of government. 

Thus I calculate an insurrection in one of the thirteen States in the course of 
eleven years * » * amounts to one in any particular State in one hundred and 
forty-seven years, say a century and a half. This would not be near as many as have 
happened in any prior government that has ever existed ; so that we shall have the 
difference between a light and a heavy gavernment as clear gain. 

Can history produce a history of a rebellion so honorably conducted * » » 
God forbid that we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion * * » 
What signifies a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be 
refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural 

Franklin wrote to Dr. Shipley before Shay's Eebelliou; Jefi'erson 
writes after it. The different view which each takes of that most threat- 
ening uprising illustrates quite perfectly the difference between the 
two men in their opinions of government. It is in this letter to Dr. 
Shipley that Franklin, in acknowledging the receipt of Paley's Moral 
Philosophy, says: 

The new book you gave me * »• » I think generally well written and likely to 
do good; though the reading time of most people is of late so taken up with news- 
papers an<l little periodical pamphlets, that few nowadays venture to attempt read- 
ing a qnart^) volume. I have adu)ireil to see that, in thelast century, a folio, " Bur- 
ton on Melancholy," went through six editions in aliout twenty years. We have, I 
believe, more readers now, but not of such large books.' 

Franklin anticipat^id the days of the modern newspaper, and of little 
Iwoks, compendious, comprehensive, and entertaining. It will be re- 
jnembered that he advocated giving " little books with gilt edges and 
red covers" as prizes to. the children in his English school. 

In the same letter he speaks of death : 

This I shall submit to with less regret, as, having seen during a long life a good 
deal of this world, I feel a growing curiosity to be acquainted with some other; and 
can cheerfully, with tilial confidence, resign my spirit to the conduct of that great 
an«l good Parent of mankind who created it, and who has so graciously protected 
and prospered me from my birth to the present hour. 

Having largely exhausted the resources of this world he was desirous 
of experimenting in another, and without doubt he desired no other 
immortality than thecontiiuiation of the life which he had lived in this 
world, attaining moral perfection, observing phenomena, and registering 
his conclusions concerning them, and contributing as far as possible to 
the general welfare of the inhabitants of another world. 

'For his letter at the time to the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, April 15, 1787, see 
Bigelow, Vol. IX, p. 368. 

franklin's ideas in education. 163 

While Franklin's mind turned (o the njysteries ever w ith curiosity he 
found congenial employment in some of the jiractical interests of this 
world. On the 8th of the following April he Jickiiowledges in a letter 
to his sister the receipt of a box of soaj) — 

The substance of which appears to be very good, but its consistence had probably 
been affected by the frost, for unless very tenderly jiud < autionsly liandled. »he 
cakes would crumble into little pieces between one's lingers. However, having an 
opportunity of seeding some to my friends in France, who much admired wliat I 
had of you formerly, I with much difficulty took out twenty-two cakes, which I 
wrapped separately in spongy paper, hoping tliat, as they dried, they might consoli- 
date, and the infinite number of little cracks that appeared in tiiem be closed and 
the parts again united, and so I sent them away in Tt small box. 

The attention which lie gives to his sister's imperfect soap suggest-s 
that he was still the son of the tallow chandler, and kindly regardful 
of the practical concerns of his beloved sister, for he concludes his 

Draw upon me for the expense of the soap, and your bill shall be paid on sight. 

It was in the year 1786 that the people who ha<l crossed over the 
mountains and settled in the country now called Tennessee, gave to 
their new commonwealth the iiame of Franklin. The name of the new 
country for a few years was Franklin or Frankland, and it is an evi- 
dence of the affection in which Dr. Franklin was held by his country- 
men, who have given his name to many counties, towns, and public in 

It was in 1780 that the celebrated letter to Thomas Paine was written, 
in which Franklin advises him that should he publish his Age of Rea- 
son, whose reasons were subtle and might prevail with some readers 
but would not succeed in changing the general sentiments of mankind, 
and the consequence of printing the jiiece would be that a great deal 
of odium would be drawn upon its author and no one would be bene- 
fited: "He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face."' 

The correspondence of the closing years of Franklin's life abounds 
in references to religious matters and illustrates the public interest 
that was taken in Franklin's own religious views. 

He was elected in 1787 a delegate to the convention which revi.sed the 
old Confederation and proposed a better Constitution; but he .said that 
though he was to be one in that business he doubted whether his raal 
ady would permit him giving constant attention. There is evidence 
that he was present at the meetings of the convention except on the 

'According to the census of 1890 there were in the ITnited ."States twenty-four 
Franklin counties, thirty-three towns called Franklin, one Franklin City, one Frank- 
lin Corners, one Franklin Cross Roads, one Frauklindale, one Franklin Depot, one 
Franklin Falls, two Franklin Furnaces, one Franklin Forks, one Franklin Grove, 
one Franklin iron Works, two Fraul-liii Mills, me Franklin« Mills, two Fmnklin 
Parks, one Franklin Square, two Franklin .*■ tations. four Franklinttms, one Frank- 
lintown, six Franklinvilles, and one irankland. 

«See letter of June 15, 1786^ Bigelow IX, p. 318. Also April 9, 1787, idem, p. 36L 


occasion of the opening of Franklin and Marshall College. His malady 
prevented him frequently from walking, but he struggled against the 
disease and took as much exercise as i)ossible. He was afterwards 
able to say in a letter to his sister, September 20. 1787: 

The convention finished the 17th instant. I attended the business of it five hours 
in every day from the beginning, which is something more than four months. You 
may judge from thence that my health continues; some tell me I look better, and 
they suppose the daily exercise of going and returning from the Statehoase has 
done me good. 

This reference to his health and of his going and returning from the 
Statehouse is the best evic^jence we have of the place where the Con- 
stitution of the United States was made.^ 

His work in the Convention was important, and his correspondence 
during the time is interesting. To Jefferson he wrote, April 19, 1787: 

Our Federal Constitution is generally thought defective, and a convention, first 
proposed by Virginia, and since recommended by Congress, is to assemble here next 
month, to revise it and propose amendments. The delegates generally appointed, as 
far as I have heard of them, are men of character for prudence and ability, so that I 
hope good from their meeting. Indeed,- if it does not do good it must do harm, as it 
will show that wo have not wisdom enough among us to govern ourselves ; and will 
strengthen the opinion of some political writers' that popular governments can not 
long support themselves. 

I can not speak in detail of Franklin's services in the Convention; 
they were not inferior in importance to any of his associates. The 
character of his suggestions might be anticipated from the experience 
of his life; he sought to harmonize the differences between the States, 
and he applied to tlie i)roblem before the Convention the principles 
worked out in his diplomatic experience. His opinions were that ca<?h 
State should have equal sufl"rage, which should be in proportion to the 
sums actually contributed by the respective States to the National 
Treasury from taxes or internal excise in the States. Franklin's pre- 
dominant idea was equality of representation; his object was to pro- 
mote the general welfare by the maintenance of such equality, which 
was secured by the double system of representation in the Senate and 
the House of Representatives. 

The forming of it (the Constitution) so as to accouinnxlalt^ all tlie difiereut inter- 
est* and views was a difficult task; and, perhaps, after all, it may not be received 
with the same unanimity in the different States thsit the Convention has given an ex- 
ample of in delivering it out for their consideration. We have done our best and it 
must take its chances. 

This sentiment illustrates Franklin's opinion that a union is perma- 
nent, as it has the power of readjusting itself to the conditions. This, 
as we have said, is the National idea, and Franklin is the chief north- 
ern type of the exposition of this idea in the eighteenth century. 

Franklin's influence in the Convention won the general signature to 
the Constitution at last; the speech which he delivered on that occa- 

'The old Statehoase on Chestnut street, below Sixth street, Philadelphia. 

franklin's ideas in education. 165 

sion we have ulieady quoted.^ We know that the Coiiveiiti<iii wjis 
frequently inharmonious, and there were serious threatenings of the 
I)ermanent interruption of its proceedings; it was in recognition of the 
danger of such a calamity that Franklin made his celebrated motion — 

That henceforth prayers, imploring the assistance of lieaven and its hlcHsings on 
our deliberations, be held in this assembly every nioriiing before we proceed to bu«i- 
ness; and that one or more of the clergy of this city be reque8t«'d t<>ofticiat«5 in that 
service. * 

The Convention, however, except three or four persons, thought prayer 
unnecessary. It was in oflering this motion that Franklin said: 

III this situation of this assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find political 
truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it hapjiened, 
sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly ap2)lyiug to the I'ather of 
Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with 
Britain, when we were sensible of danger, Ave had daily prayers in this room for the 
DiA'ine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. 
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frecjuent instances of 
a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this 
happy opportunity of consulting iu i)ea<'e on the means of establishing our future 
national felicity. And have we now forgotten that jiowerful Friend, or do we im- 
agine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer 
I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that (lod governs in the affairs of 
men. And if a sparrow can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable 
that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assuBcd, sir, in tJie sacred 
writings that "except the Lord build the house, they labor in vf^iu that build it." 
I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall 
succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be 
divided by our little, partial, local interests; our projects will be confounded, and 
we, ourselves, shall become a reproach and a by-word down to future ages. And, 
what is worse, mankind niay heieafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of 
establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest. 

Franklin's comments, in his letters to his friends, on the adoption of 
the Constitution, emphasize majiy of his opinions ab'eady known to us. 
To Mr. M. Le Veillard, February 17, 1788: 

I sent you, with my lafejt, a copy of the new Constitntion proposed for the United 
States by the late General Convention. I sent one also to our excellent friend, the 
Duke de la Rochefoucauld. I attended the business of the Convention faithfully for 
four months. Inclosed you have the last speech I made in it. Six States have already 
adopted the Constitution, and there is now little doubt of its being accepted by a 
sufficient number to carry it into execution, if not immediately, by the whole. It has, 
however, met with great opposition in some States, for we are at present a nation of 
politicians. And though there is a general dread of giving too much power to our 
governors, I think we are more in danger from too little obedience in the governed. 
We shall, as you suppose, have imposts on trade and custom-houses, not l>ecauae 
other nations have them, but because we can not at present do without them. We 
want to discharge our public debt occasioned by the late war. Direct taxes are not 
so easily levied on the scantily settled inhabitants of our wide-extended country; 
and what is paid in the price of merchandise is felt less by the consumer, and leea 
the cause of complaint. When we are out of debt we may leave our trade free, for 
our ordinary charges of government will not be great. > 

1 Page 13. 


To M. Dupont de Nemours on tlu- Utii of June lie wrote ehuracteris- 
tieally: "But Ave must not exj>ect that a new government may be 
formed, as a game of cliess may be i)layed by a skillful hand, without 
a fault;" and lie proceeded to illustrat<^ his favorite idea that experi- 
ence would determine the true com^se of the new government. 

As Franklin aged he became somewhat optimistical, an unusual 
thing with an aged person, and perhaps gave the fullest exiiressinn to 
his ojitimism in a letter to M. Le Veillard, June 8, 1788: 

Thank God, the world is growing wiser and wiser; and as by degrees men are 
convinf-ed of tbe follj- of wars for religion, for dominion, or for oommerce they will 
be happier and bapjjier. ' 

Though over 80 jears of age he continued to take interest in all the 
afiairs of mankind, and the writings of his closing j^ears manifest no 
decay of his mental powers. Some of his most perfect papers, in point 
of style and comprehension of treatment, Avere Avritten in the last two 
years of his life. He saw improvement and encouragement everywhere. 
In his pamphlet on the Internal State of America, 1788, he says: 

It is true that in some of tbe States there are parties and discords, but let us look 
back and ask if we Avere CA'er Asitbout them. Sucb Avill exist Avberever there 
is liberty, and perhaps they help to preserve it. By tbe collision of diflferent senti- 
ments sparks of trutii are struck out and political light is obtained. The different 
factions Avbicb at present divide us aim all at the public good; tbe differences are 
only about the Tarious modes of promoting it. * * * Parties are therefore the 
counuon lot of bum.initj-, and ours are by no means more mischievous or less bene- 
ficial than those of other countries, nations, and ages enjoying in the same degree 
tbe great blessing of political liberty. 

This Avas written when the bitterness of jjarty feeling was more in 
tense than it has ever been since in our history. 

Whoever has traveled [he abso remarks] through the various parts of Europe and 
observed bow small is the proportion of people in affluence or easj' circumstances 
there compared with those in jiovcrty and misery ; the fcAv rich and haughtj' land- 
lords, the multitude of poor, abject, rack-rented, tithe-paying tenants and half- 
paid and half-starved, ragged laborers, and a'icavs here the happy mediocrity that 
so generally prcA'ails throughout these States where tbe cultivator works for him- 
self and supports his family in decent plenty, A\'ill, metbinks, see abundant reason 
to bless divine Providence for the evident and great difference in our favor and be 
convinced that no nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity. 

This optimistic A'ieAv of America is characteristic of the times and 
probably expresses the oi>inion which the American people have of 
their country at the present time. 

In his paper on the l*rospe(;t for Emigrants to America he says: 

No rewards are given to encourage new settlers to come among us, whatever de- 
gree of ])roperty they may bring Avith them nor any exemption from common du- 
ties. Our country offers to strangers nothing but a good climate, fertile soil, whole- 
some air, free goA'emments, wise laws, liberty, a good people to live among, and a 
heart}' Av el come. Europeans who have these oi* greater advantages at home 
•would do well to stay there. 

This paragraph might be epitomized in saying that a man's country 
is where he is best oflfj a saying to which Franklin Avould doubtless 
.give his approval. 

franklin's ideas in education. 167 

Fraukliu bad long been in favor of the abolition of slavery and about, 
his closing years gathers the halo of the light which shines from his 
writings on behalf of the slave. His plan for the improvement of the 
African race is outlined in a letter to Washington somewhat in the 
form of a report. 

First. A Committee of Inspection sbonld superintend tb« morals, general contliict, 
and ordinary situation of free negroes to furnish them advice and instructiou, pro- 
tection from wrongs, and other friendly offices. / 

Second. A Committee of Guardians shouhl place out children and young people 
with suitable persons that they might during a moderate term of apprenticeship or 
servitude learn some trade or other business for subsistence. In forming contracts 
on these occasions the Committee should secure to the Society, as far as pr.icticable, 
the right of guardianship over persons so bound. 

Third. A Committee of Education should superintend the school instmction of 
the cliildren of the free blacks; they might either influence tliem to attend regu- 
larly the schools already established or form others with this view; they should in 
other cases provide that the pupils might receive such learning as is necessary for 
their future situation in life, and especially a deep impression of the most impor- 
tant and generally acknowledged moral and religious principles. 

Fourth. A Committee of Employ should ^endeavor to procure constant employ- 
ment for those free negroes who were ■ able to work, as the want of this would 
occasion povert.v, idleness, and many vicious habits. 

And he incoriiorated in this part of his plan the same notions which 
he had already expressed in his plan for the management of the orphan 
schoolhouses. That the ('ommittee in providing employment for those 
qualified to take it should prevail upon the apprentices to bind them- 
selves for such a term of years as might compensate their masters for 
the expense and trouble of their instruction and maintenance. Useful 
and simple manufactures, such as require but little skill, should be en- 
tered upon as a substantial means of assisting those who were qualified 
to commence business for themselves. The incident to the 
prosecution of this plan was to be defrayed by a fund formed by dona- 
tions or subscriptions for the particular purpose. 

Perhaps no more interesting letter is found in the correspondence of 
this part of Franklin's life than his communication to Noah Webster, 
December 1*0, 1789, acknowledging a copy of Webster's Dissertations 
on the English Language. Franklin ])ronounced it " an excellent 
work," one that '' will be greatly useful in turning the thoughts of cmr 
countrymen to correct writing." After commenting upon some new 
words that had come into the language .since 1723, he says: 

The Latin language, long the vehicle used in distributing knowledge among the 
ditterent nations of Europe, is daily more and more neglected, and one of the modern 
tongues, namely, the French, seems in point of universality to have supplied its 
place. It is spoken in all the courts of Europe, nnd most of the literali, those even 
who do not speak it, have acquired knowledge enough of it to enable them easily to 
reiul the books that are written in it. This gives a considerable advantage to that 
nation ; it enables its authors to inculcate and spread throughout other nations such 
sentiments and opinions on important points as are most conducive to its interests, 
or which may contribute to its reputation by promoting the common interests of 
mankind It is perhaps owihg to its being written in French, that Voltaire's treatise 
on Toleration has had so sudden and so great an efifect on the bigotry of Eurojw as 


almost entirely to disarm it. The general nse of the French language has likewise 
a very advantageous effect on the profits of the bookselling branch of commerce, it 
being well known that the more copies can be sold that are struck off from one com- 
position of types, the profits increase in a much greater proportion than they do in 
making a great number of pieces in any other kind of manufacture. And at present 
there is no capital town in Europe without a French bookseller's shop corresponding 
with Paris. 

But FraDklin not only discerns the universality of the French tongue, 
he anticipates again the growing universality of the English: 

Our English bids fair to obtain the second place. The great body of excellent 
printed sermons in our language, and the freedom of our writings on political sub- 
jects, have induced a number of divines of different sects and nations, as well as 
gentlemen concerned in public affairs, to study it; so far, at least, as to read it. 
And if we were to endeavor the facilitating its progress, the study of our tongue 
might become much more general. Those who have employed some parts of their 
time in learning a new language have frequently observed that, while their ac- 
quaintance with it was imperfect, difficulties small iu tliemselves operated as great 
ones in obstructing their progress. A book, for example, ill printed or a pronunci- 
ation in speaking not well articulated would render a sentence unintelligible 
which from a clear print or a distinct speaker would have been immediately com- 
prehended. If, therefore, we would have the benefit of seeing our language more 
generally known among mankind we should endeavor to remove all the difficulties, 
however small, that discourage the learning it. 

He concluded his letter to Webster by remarking that the spelling 
book which Webster had sent him was miserably printed and on 
wretched paper. 

It is interesting to know that this spelling book, the most famous of 
its kind ever made, and which in our day is used annually, it is said, 
to the number of more than a million copies, was approved by Frank- 
lin. His appeal for the English language in his letter to Webster was 
his last word on education. He ended as he began, with encouraging 
the study of his native language and literature. The empire of that 
language and that literature which he foresaw is realized in our day. 

By his will he provided for the disposition of his books to the Philo- 
soi)hical Society of Philadelphia and to the A.merican Philosophical 
►Society. Faithful to his love of his native city, he wrote: 

I was bom in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to 
the free grammar schools established there. I therefore give £ 100 ' sterling to my 
executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to tjie man- 
agers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or 
by those person or persons who sliall have the superinteudenoe and management of the 
said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest forever, which interest 
annually shall be laid out in silver medals and given as honorary rewards annually 
by the directors of the said free schools belonging to the said town, in such mamier 
as to the discretion of the selectmen of the said town shall seem meet. 

'"This £100," saysBigelow, "proved a singularly auspicious investment. With 
the addition of a little to the fund from the city treasury of Boston its medals have 
rewarded the diligeuge and exemplary conduct of over 4,000 boys who have been 
found to merit them, amd have no doubt stimulated to extra exertion perhaps hun- 
dreds of thousands who were less fortunate. The amount of this fund has more than 
doubled since Franklin's death. 

franklin's ideas in education. 169 

By a codicil to the will Franklin made an eflort to provide tor the 
perpetual application of liis own ideas regarding the encouragement of 
apprentices for the benefit of the inhabitants of Boston and Philadel- 
phia. The provision is as follows: 

I was born iu Boston, New England, and owe my first instmctions in lit«ratare to 
the free grammar-schools established there. I have, therefore, already considered 
these schools in my will. But 1 am also under obligations to the State of Massa- 
chusetts for having, unasked, appointed me formerly their agent iu England, with 
a handsome salary, which continued for some years ; and although I accidentally loet 
in their service, by transmitting Governor Hutchinson's letters, much more than the 
amount of what they gave me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my 

I have considered that, among artisans, good apprentices are most likely to make 
good citizens, aud, having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my na- 
tive town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind 
loans of mouey from two friends there, which was the foundation of my fortune, 
and of all the utility iu life that may be ascribed to me, I wish to be useful even 
after my death, if jjossible, in forming and ad vaucing other young men that may be 
serviceable to their country in both those towns. To this end I devote two thou- 
sand pounds sterling, of which I give one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the 
town of Boston, iu Massachusetts, and the other thousand to the inhabitants of the 
city of Philadelphia, iu trust, to and for the uses, intents, aud purposes hereinafter 
uientioued and declared. 

The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of 
the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the selectmen, united 
with the ministers of the oldest P^piscopalian, Congregational, aud Presbyterian 
churches in that town, who are to let out the sum upon interest, at five per cent per 
annum, to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as have 
served an apprenticeship iutbe said town and faithfully fulfilled the duties required 
in their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral character from at least two respect- 
able citizens, who are willing to become their sureties, in a bond with the appli- 
cants, for the repayment of the moneys so lent, with interest, according to the 
terms hereinafter prescribed; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled 
dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin; and the managers shall keep a 
bound book or books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply 
for and receive the beuefits of this institution, and of their sureties, together with the 
sums leut, the dates, aud other necessary and pA)per records respecting the business 
aud concerns of this institution. And as these loans are intended to assist young 
maiTied artificei'S in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned by the 
discretion of the managers so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, 
nor to be less than fifteen pounds; and if the number of appliers so entitled should 
be so large as that the sum will not suffice to aftbrd to each as much as might other- 
wise not be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished so as to affonl to 
every one some assistance. These aids may, therefore, be small at first, but, as the 
capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And iu 
order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of 
the principal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be obliged to pay, with the 
yearly interest, one-tenth part of the principal, which sums of principal and inter- 
est, so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrowers. 

And, as it is presumed that there will always be found in Boston >irtuou8 and be- 
nevolent citizens willing to bestow a part of theii* time in doing good to the rising 
generation by superintending and managing this institutioi ^ ratis, it is hoped that 
no part of the money will at any time be dead, or be divertelPto other purposes, but 
be continually augmenting by the interest ; in which case there may, iu time, be 


wore tl^an the uccasioua in Bostou shall re<iuire, and then some may oe spared to the 
neighboring or »)ther towns in the said State of Massachusetts who may desire to 
have it; such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the poilions of 
the principal, annually, to the inhabitant{> of the town of Boston. 

If this plan is executed, and succeeds as projected without interruption for one 
hundred years, the sum will then he one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds; 
of which I could have the managers of the donation to the town of Boston then lay 
ont, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which may 
be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants, such as fortifications, bridges, 
aqueducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the 
town more convenient to its people, and render it more agreeable to strangers re- 
sorting hither for health or a temporary residenco. The remaining thirty-one thou- 
sand i)Ound8 I would have continued to be let out on interest, in the manner above 
directed, for another hundred years, as I hoj)e it will have betm found that the in- 
stitution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many 
worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortu- 
nate accident has prevented the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty- 
one thousand pounds sterling, of which I leave one million sixtj'-oue thousand 
pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and three mil- 
lions to the disposition of the government of the State, not presuming to carry my 
views farther. 

All the directions herein given respecting the disposition and management of the 
donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the 
inhabitants of Philadelphia, only, as Philadelphia is incorjjorated, I request the 
corporation of that city to undertake the management agreeably to the said direc- 
tions; and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose.' 


This is a fund for the encouragement of young mechanics. Dr. Benjamin Franklin, 
in his will, gave the inhabitants of Boston, in 1791, £1,000 sterling, which he directed 
to be loaned in sums of not more than £60 nor less than £1.5 to one applicant, at 5 
per cent interest, to be repaid in annual installments of 10 per cent each. These loans 
arc restricted to "young married artificers," under the age of 25, who have faith- 
fully served an apprenticeship in Boston, so as to obtain a certificate of good moral 
character from at least two respectable citizens, who are willing to become theiiy 
sureties in a bond for their payment of the money. 

It was the estimate of Dr. Franklin that the £1,000 would increase in one hun(^red 
years to £131,000, and then the managers of the fund were to lay ont in public works 
£100,000, and the balance to continue on interest for another hundred years, which 
he estimated would then amount to £4,600,000. Of this amount the sum of £1,610,000 
was to be at the disposal of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and the balance 
to be paid to the government of the State. 

The board of aldermen, 1882, after a rcjiort in the matter of the Franklin fund from 
a committee consisting of Aldermen Stebbins and llart, passed the fidlowing resolves : 

Riaolred, That in the opinion of this board, comprising a majority of the trustees 
of the Franklin fund, it is expedient and highly desirable that the proportion of said 
fund which will be available in 1891-'92 for investment in "some ])ub]ic work'' 
should be devoted to the extinguishment of the debt incurred for the purciiase of the 
West Roxbury Park. 

Resolved, That in th^ event of such disposition of the said ])ortion of the Franklin 
fund, the park just ])iHi-chased should be called "Franklin Park," in honor of the 
testator, who has so generously (jndowed his native town. 

The name " Frankliul'ark " was adojited by the board of park commissioners. 


The trnstees uudeTMi^ will are the selectmen (now board of aldermen), united 


Franklin's ideas on education differed from those of Lis contempora 
ries, and in order to show by comparison and contrast the eiucatioual 
notions which lie at the bottom of Franklin's philosophy, his ideas on 
education will be compared with those of John Adams and Thoma« 
Jefferson. It may be premised that John Adams's ideas of education 
are typical of New England, and by comparing them and Franklin's it 
will be seen how the life of Franklin in Pennsylvania modified his 
early New England notions, and perhaps explain some of the variations 
between the general liberal plan of education characteristic of New 
England and the middle colonies. 

Franklin, we have seen, was a self-educated man. John Adams 
received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Harvard College in 1775, 
and soon after became the teacher of the grammar school in the town of 
Worcester. As was the case so frequently in New Jingland schools, 
teaching was but an expedient to supply for the time being the wants 
of life and afford sufficient leisure to read law. 

Adams was closely associated with Franklin in public life, both be- 
ing members of important committees in the old Congress, the most 
famous of which was the committee that drafted the Declaration of 
Independence, both having the independence of the colonies at heart 
while that independence seemed a great way off", and both serving 
their country in joint diplomatic relations in Paris. They were very 

with the ministers of the oldest Episcopalian, Congregational, and Presbyterian 
churches in the town of Boston. The first loan was made May, 1791. 

The treasurer of the fund, Samuel F. McCleary, in his annual report to the tms- 
tees, makes the statement of the condition February 1, 1892, viz : 

Amount of fund, February 1, 1891 $383,496.38 

Interest accrued during the year 15, 345. 13 

Amount of fund, February I, 1892 398,841.51 

This amount consists of — 

Deposits in Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance (Company 395, 288. 82 

Deposits in Sufiblk Savings Bank 3, 282. 06 

Cash 63. 00 

Balances of bonds for loans , 270. 00 

Total 398,841.51 

Income to be loaned to young married artificers, under the age of 35 years, 
who have served an apprenticeship in Philadelphia, and faithfully fulfilled the du- 
ties required in their indentures, and who can furnish t wo satisfactory securities 
for the return of the money in ten annual iustallments, with interest at 5 per cent: 

Invested capital, December SI, 1891. 

Philadelphia City loans: 

6 per cent, taxable $500. 00 

6 per cent, free ",* '^' *^' '^^' ^ 

4percent .'.".T.. 100.00 

Pittsburg City 7 per cent loans 1> ^^- ^ 


much unlike in character, Franklin being easy, generous, liberal in 
his views, full of tact, wise in his observations, and preeminently 
hai>py in his relations with men. John Adams was upright, active, 
suspicious, puritanical, and abrupt, ever viewing public aftairs as a 
lawyer considers his case in hand, and filled with an enormous capac- 
ity for business. We have already seen how the various activities in 
which Franklin was engaged through life determined his educational 
notions; in a similar manner John Adams's activities, which were 
chiefly legal and political, gave character to his ideas on education. 
Franklin was ever suggesting education as a means for cultivating the 
api)lied arts, for improving agriculture, for extending the conquests of 
science, for promoting the general welfare. It must have been noticed 
in our outline of Franklin that he gave very little attention in his plan 
to political studies; he mentions them and urges the study of the prin- 
ciples of government, history, and politics, but he does not found his 
scheme of education upon a political basis; he rather founded his plans 
upon the scientific and industrial basis, for lie was a man active in in- 
dustrial aftairs, little given to speculation, and apt to view political 
events aS mere changes on the sea of public affairs. Adams, on the 
other hand, was a born politician. The oldest letter of John Adams, 

United States 4 per cent loans $2, 000. 00 

Bonds and mortgages 30, 200. 00 

Loans to young married artificers 209. 56 

82, 209. 56 
Cash receipts and payments, January I to December SI, 1891. 


Interest : 

Philadelphia City loans $2,996.50 

Pittsburg City loans 70.00 

Pennsylvania State loans 187. 50 

United States loans 80.00 

Bonds and mortgages 1, 320. 36 

Loans to artificers 24.27 


Investments collected : 

Philadelphia City loass $1,200.00 

Pennsylvania State loans 2, 500. 00 

Honds and mortgages 2, 250. 00 

Loans to artificers 120. 44 


Cash balance 3,603.95 

Cash balance January 1,1891 14,353.02 


Miscellaneous expenses $162. 84 

Investment, bond and mortgage 2, 000. 00 

^ ° • ■ 2,162.84 

Cash balance December 31, 1891 12, 190. 18 

franklin's ideas in education. 173 

written w liile yet a school-teacher in Worcester, October 12, 1755, in a 
political essay, in which he says: 

Be not surprised I am turned politician ; this whole town is immerse*! in pol- 
itics. The interests of nations and the dira of war make the subjectt of every con- 
versation. I sit and hear, and after having been led through the maze, I sometimna 
retire, and by laying together form some reflections pleasing to myself. 

He was always "immersed in politics," and politics was the basis of 
his educational ideas.' These first appear in his treatise on Govern- 
ment : 

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower classes of the 
people, are so extremely wise that to a humane and generous man no expense for 
this piirpose would be thought extravagant. 

He is the type of those men who wpuld prescribe the means and ends 
of the state and "by good laws regulate all the affairs of mankind." 
Nowhere does Franklin ever refer to a "law which should provide for 
the liberal education of youth;" Franklin never carried his scheme of 
education over into government. John Adams would embody a pro- 
vision for education in the fundamentals of government, and this he 
did in the constitution of Massachusetts of 1780, ot which instrument 
he was the chief author : 

Section II. — The Encouragement of Literature, etc. 

Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of 
the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties, and as 
these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the 
various parts of the country and among the different orders of the people, it shall be 
the duty of legislators and magistrates, in all future perioils of this Commonwealth, 
to cherish the interests of literature aud tlie sciences and all seminaries of them, 
especially the university at Cambridge, public schools aud grammar schools in the 
towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immu- 
nities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufac- 
tures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the prin- 
ciples of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry 
and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings, sincerity, good humor, and 
all social affections and generous sentiments among the people. 

His grandson, Charles Francis Adams, gives this information on the 
origin of this celebrated clause : 

This feature of the constitution of Massachusetts is peculiar and, in one sense, 
original with Mr. Adams. The recognition of the obligation of a State to promote a 
higher and more extended policy than is embraced in the protection of the temporal 
interests and political rights of the individual, however understood among enlightened 
minds, had not at that time been formally made a part of the organic law. Those 
clauses, since inserted in other State constitutions, which, with more or less fullness, 
acknowledged the same principle, are all manifestly taken from this source. The 
following history of the origin of it is taken from an account given by the author 
in 1809: 

"In traveling from Boston to Phila<lelphia, in 1774, '75, 76, and 77, I had several 
times amused myself, atNorwalk, in Connecticut, with the very curious collection 
of birds and insects of American production, made by Mr. Arnold ; a collection which he 

' Life and Works of John Adams, Vol. I, p. 24. 


afterwards sold to Goveruoi- Trj'on, who sold it to Sir Ashton Lever, in whose apart- 
ments in London I afterwards viewed it afjain. This collection was so singular a 
thing that it made a deep impression iipou me, aud I could not but consider it a 
reproach to my country that so little was known, even to herself, of her natural 

When I was in Europe in the years 1778 and 1779, in the commission to the King 
of France, with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Arthur Lee, I had opportunities to see the 
King's collections and many others which increased my wishes that nature might be 
examined and studied in my own cotmtry as it was in others. 

In Franco among the academicians and other men of science and letters I was fre- 
quently entertained with inquiries concerning the Philosophical Society of Phila- 
delphia and Avitli eulogiums on the wisdom of that institution aud encomiums on 
some publications in their transactions. These conversations suggested to me the 
idea of such an establishment at Boston where I knew there was as much love for 
science aud as many gentlemen who were capable of pursuing it as in any other 
city of its size. 

In 1770 I returned to Boston in the French frigate La Sensible with the Chevalier 
de la Luzerne and M. Marbois. The corporation of Harvard College gave a public 
dinner in honor of the French ambassador and his suite, and did me the honor of 
an invitation to dine with them. At table in the philosophy chamber I chanced to 
sit next to Dr. Cooper. I entertained him during the whole of the time we were 
together with an account of Arnold's collections, the collections I had seen in 
Europe, the compliments I had heard in France upon the Philosopliical Society at 
Philadelphia, and concluded with proposing that the future legislature of Massa- 
chusetts should institute an academy of arts and sciences. 

The doctor at first hesitated, thought it would be difficult to find members who 
would attend to it; but his principal objection was that it would injure Harvard 
College by setting up a rival to it that might draw the attention and affections of 
the public in some degree from it. To this I answered, fiBst, that there were cer- 
tainly men of learning enough that might compose a society sufficiently numerous; 
and, secondly, that instead of being a rival to the university it would be an honor 
and advantage to it. That the president and principal professors would no doubt 
be always members of it; aud the meetings might be ordered wholly or in part at 
the college and in that room. The doctor at length appeared better satisfied and I 
entreated him to propagate the idea and the plan as far and as soon as his discretion 
would justify. The doctor accordingly did diffuse the project so judiciously and " 
and effectually that the first legislature under the new constitution adopted and 
established it by law. 

Afterwards, when attending the convention for forming the constitution, I men- 
tioned the subject to several members, and when I was appointed by the subcom- 
mittee to make a draft of a project of a constitution to be laid before the conventi(»n, 
my mind and heart were so full of this subject that I inserted the chapter fifth, 
section second. 

I was somewhat apprehensive that criticism and objections would be made to the 
section, and i^articularly that the "natural history," and the "good humor" would 
be stricken out, but the whole was received A'ery kindly, and passed the convention 
unanimously without amendment. 

It is a singularity, perhaps worthy of note in connection with these 
injunctions, that the individuals who have since been elevated by the 
popular voice to the chief offices of the State, with a single exception, 
have not been -loted among their fellow citizens for any superior acqui- 
sitions of learning or intellectual culture. A considerable number have 
not gone through the higher grades of education in Massachusetts at '^ 

franklin's ideas in education. 175 

John Arlanis has the fame of being the first American statesman to 
incorporate in a State constitution a provision for public education. 
There were no public schools in Pennsylvania in Franklin's day and 
all his ideas on education related chiefly to private enterprise and in 
dividual effort. There had been public schools in Massjichusetts fn»m 
the beginning of the colony and the inertia of educational ideas moving 
in the colony carried into the first State constitution this celebrated 
provision for the encouragement of learning. It will be noticed that 
Adams's plan provided for '^ the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, 
commerce, trades, manufactures, and the natural history of the coun- 
try," the original suggestion of which is explained by his grandson. 

It is a i^ew England idea to make education a matter of laws. Class 
distinctions in New England were marked in Franklin's day; the chil- 
dren of the tallow chandler were not classed as fit companions for the 
children of clergymen and lawyers. This will be remembereti in inter- 
preting another passage in Adams's treatise on Government pertaining 
to education : 

The education here intended is not merely that of the children of the rich and 
noble, but of every rank and class of people down to the lowest and the poorest. It 
is not too much to say that schools for the education qf all should be placed at con- 
■"^enient distances and maintained at the public expense; the revenue of the State 
would be applied infinitely better, more charitably, wisely, usefully, therefore 
politically, in this way than even in maintaining the poor. This would be the best 
way of preventing the existence of the poor. If nations should ever be wise, in- 
stead of erecting thousands of useless oflBces, or engaging in unmeaning wars, they 
should make a fundamental maxim of this, that no human being shall grow up in 
ignorance. In proportion as this is done tyranny will disappear, kings and nobles 
will be made to feel their equitable equality with commoners, and commoners should 
see their interest and advantage to respect the guardians of the laws, for guardians 
they must have as long as human nature endures. There is no room to doubt that 
the schools, academies, and universities, the stage, the press, the bar, the pulpit, 
and Parliament, might all be improving to better purpose than they have been in 
any country for this great purpose. 

Again : 

The greater part of every people are still ignorant, and, although their leaden 
might artfully persuade them to a thousand idle expenses, they would not be able 
to persuade them to this. Education, then, must be supported by private munifi- 
cence, and such sources, although sufficient to maintain a few schools and a univer- 
sity in a great nation, can never be sufficient to maintain schools in sufficient num- 
bers to educate a whole people. Where a senate is i)re8erveil, it is always a maxim 
with them to respect learning and educate their own families. Their example is 
followed by all others who arc in any way in easy circumstances. In a government 
of three branches, commoners as well as nobles are under the necessity of educating 
their children, because they hope to be called to public service, where it is neces- 
sary. In all the mixed governments of antiquity, education was necessary, and 
where the people had a share it was the most generally practiced, but in a simple 
government it never was general. In Sparta it was far from being general; it was 
confined to youth of family; so it was -in the aristocracy in Rome. But, although 
we have examples of simple democracy, to recur to that the majority must be igno- 
rant and poor, and sometimes an opposition made by members of the lowest class, 
who are often joined for sinister purpose by some men of consequence, but convinces 


that the general public education never can long exist in a simple democracy. The 
stinginess, the envy, and malignity of the base iin«l ignorant would be flattered by 
the artful and designing. If the education of every family be left to its own ex- 
pense, the rich only might have their children educated. 

Franklin would never have mentioned education in such a connec- 
tion. He did not view the state as merely a political concern. He 
frequently has occasion to remark on the dift'erent conditions of the rich 
and poor, and he was ever projecting schemes by which the poor might 
become rich. He would set everybody on the way to wealth. Indus- 
try, frugality, and self-education were the basis of Franklin's concep- 
tion of state. Adams, on the other hand, viewed the state wholly as 
a lawyer, conceived it as an affair of laws which adjusted, or attempted 
to adjust the rights of the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, 
the good and the bad, and therefore placing law as of chief importance 
in the state, he would regulate education by law. Nowhere does Ad ams 
intimate that the individual should educate himself. 

When in Holland in 1780 Adams wrote a number of letters upon in- 
teresting subjects respecting the Revolution of America and in reply 
to the inquiry "whether the common people in America are not inclined, 
when they are able to find sufficient means, to frustrate by force the 
good intentions of the politicians," wrote : 

The difference in that country (America) is not so great as it is in some others be- 
tween the common people and the gentlemen ; for noblemen we have none. There 
is no country Avhere the common jieople, I mean tlie tradesmen, the husbandmen, 
and the laboring people, have such advantages of education as in that (America), 
audit may be truly said that their education, their undei'standing, and their knowl- 
edge are as nearly equal as their birth, fortune, dignities, and titles. 

This might be expected from one whom his enemies sometimes called 
"the well-born" and it is eminently in keeping with the general tone 
of New England thought at the time. Nowhere in Franklin's writings 
is there found such a statement as Adams's, that knowledge among 
Americans is "as nearly equal as their birth, fortune, dignities, and 
titles." The counter statement is made by Franklin in his autobiog^ 
raphy when speaking of the beneficial effect of founding the Philadel- 
phia Library.' 

In other words, Franklin was a democrat in his educational ideas; 
Adams, a New England aristocrat of the radical type, who would 
direct and guard the people's interest, discriminate as to their "birth, 
fortune, dignities, and titles" and by the artifice of law attempt to 
equalize their condition as far as possible. 

The different effect on America of the ideas of these two men is 
apparent in our time. Franklin's plan of self-education, rising to the 
dignity of utilitarian philosophy, has profoundly influenced the Amer- 
ican people and stimulated thousands to improve themselves and 
acquire by frugality and industry advantages which were not theirs 
by birth. Adams, prescribing public education by the law of the 

franklin's ideas in education. 177 

state, was among the founders of our public scliool system, by which 
the State educates the young at public expense. The ideas of John 
Adams on education have eliminat-ed largely and necessarily from the 
body of youth receiving instruction at the expense of the State that 
personal ambitious interest in self education which is characteristic of 
those who follow Franklin's plan. Our public shools are characterized 
by a mechanism which produces a uniform training of an average 
quality and transforms ignorant childhood into book-taught youth, 
of I en without stirring that sense of personal concern in the acquisition 
of knowledge of which Franklin was always fondly speaking. 

If John Adams was instrumental in founding the public school sys- 
tem of the United States when he incorporated in the constitution of 
Massachusetts of 1780 that famous clause providing for the maintenance 
of public schools and higher institutions of learning, which has largely 
intiuenced the entire Korth, and which may be traced in these suc- 
cessive State constitutions that have been made from Massachusetts to 
Oregon, and if he was successful in incorporating education by law in 
the organization of the State, he yet failed, as all have failed, who 
would resolve education into a conformity to the requirements of a law 
however wise in its ultimate purposes, in founding a system of educa- 
tion which can compete in true value with that system which, like 
Franklin's, transforms every individual into an ever-improving, self- 
educating soul. 

Doubtless it has occurred to the reader that it is by the Franklin 
model that such men are made as Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln, 
Robert Fulton, and other original and creative minds, who are self- 
educated, yet who rank among the determinative forces in America. 
It is the old story of the college-made and self-made man, but we must 
admit that, as human nature is, it is better for our cotmtry to have the 
advantage of the results obtained by the application of John Adams' 
plan for education by i)rescribing it in the fundamental law of the State 
than to run the risk of securing an educated democracy by the appli- 
cation of Franklin's plan of self education. The few will profit by 
Franklin's example, the many will be imi)roved by the operation of the 
laws which John Adams favored. In fine, Franklin's ideas applies to 
individuals ; Adams', to the welfare of the masses. 

John Adams writes in 1785: 

The wliole people must take upon themselvpa the education of the whole people 
and must be willing to bear the expense of it. There should not be a district of one 
mile square without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but 
maintained jvt the expense of the people themselves. 

Benjamin Rush had written to Adams Iiis opinions that — 

The benefits of free schools should not be overlooked. Indeed, suffrage, in my 
opinion, should never be permitted to a man that cotild not write or read. 

To which Adams replied : 

Free schools and all schools, colleges, aca<lemiea, and seminaries of learning I 
can recommend from my heart, but I dare not say that the suffrage should never b« 

1180 12 


permitted to a man who can not read and write. What would become of the Re- 
public of France if the lives, fortunes, and character of the twenty-four million 
and a half men who can neither read nor write should bo at the absolute disposal of 
five hundred thousand Ajho can read? 

Adams's opinion on intelligent qualification for voting may be said 
to express the Avisli of tboiigbtful Americans of all times. 

In the closing years of his life Adams was in close and delightful 
correspondence with Thomas Jefferson at a time when Jefferson was 
engaged in establishing the University of Virginia. In a letter to 
Jefferson, written from Quincy, July 16, 1814, we obtain quite a 
glimpse of the character of Adams's education if not of his ideas on 
that subject : 

I am very glad [he writes] yon have seriously road Plato, and still more rejoiced 
to find that your reflections upon him so perfectly harmonize with mine. Some 
thirty years ago, I took upon me the severe task of going through all his works.' 
With the help of two Latin translations and one English and one French transla- 
tion, and comparing some of the most remarkable passages with the Greek, I 
labored through the tedious toil. My disappointment was very great, my astonisli- 
ment was greater, and my disgust was shocking. Two things only did I lotirn from 
him. First, that Franklin's ideas of exempting husbandmen and mariners, etc., 
from the (lepreilations of war, Avere borrowed from him; and second, that sneezing 
is a cure for the hiccough. Accordingly, I have cured myself and all my fi'leuds of 
, that provoking disorder, for thirty years, with a pinch of snuff. 

Some part« of his dialogues are entertaining, like the writings of Rousseau; but 
his Laws and his Republic, from which I expected most, disappointed me most. I 
could scarcely exclude the suspicion that he intended the latter as a bitter satire 
upon all republican governments, as Xenophon nndotibtedly designed by his essay 
on democracy to ridicule that species of republic. In a late letter to the learned 
and ingenious Mr. Taylor, of Hazelwood, I suggested to him the project of writing 
a novel, in which tlie hero should be sent on his travels through Plato's republic, 
and all his adventures, with his observations on the principles and opinions, the 
arts and sciences, the manners, customs, and habits of the citizens, should be 
recorded. Nothing can be conceived more destructive of human happiness, more 
infallibly contrived to transform men and women into brutes, yahoos, or demons, than 
a commtinity of wives and property. Yet, in what are the writings of Rousseau 
and Helvetiue wiser than those of Plato? "The man who first fenced a tobacco 
yard and said, 'this is mine,' ought instantly to have been put to death," said 
Rousseau. "The man who first pronounced tlie liarbarous word Dien, ought to have 
been immediately destroyed," says Diderot. In short, philosophers, ancient and 
modern, appear to me an mad as Hindoos, Mahometans, and Christians. No doubt 
they would all think mo mad, and for anything I know, this globe may be the 
Bedlem le IJicetre of the universe. 

Aft«r all, as long as property exists, it will accumulate in individuals and families. 
As long as marriage exists, knowledge, property, and influence will accumulate in 
families. Your and our eqnal partition of intestate e8t.ate8, instead of preventing, 
will in time augment the evil, if it is one. The French revolutionists saw this, and 
were so far consistent. AVhen they burned pedigrees and genealogical trees they 
annihilated, as far as they could, mairiages, knowing that marriage, among a thou- 
sand other things, wsis an infallible source of aristocracy. I repeat it, so sure {«« the 
idea and the existence of property is admitted and established in society, accumula- 
tions of it will be made; the snowball will grow as it rolls. 

' Idem, Vol. ix, p. 540. 

franklin's ideas in education. 179 

Cicero was e«lu( ated in the groves of Academus, wh«re the nam© and mcmoi;; of 
Plato was idolized to such a degree that if he had wholly reiiouiwed the prejudices 
of his education his reputation would have been lesseued, if not injurwl and ruined. 
In his two volumes of Discourses on Government, we may jiresunie that he fully ex- 
amined Plato's Laws and Republic, as well as Aristotle's writings on government. 
But these have been carefully destroyed, not improbably with the g«'ueral consent of 
philosophers, politicians, and priests. The loss is as much to be regretted as that of 
any production of antiquitj^ 

Nothing seizes the attention of the staring animal so surely as pantdox, riddle, 
mystery, invention, discovery, wonder, temerity. 

Plato and his disciples from the fourth century Christians, to Rousseau and Tom 
Paine, have been full sensible of this werfkness in mankind, and have too snccess- 
fully grounded upon it their pretensions to ftime. I might, indeed, have mentioned 
Boliugbroke, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, Turgot, Helvetius, Diderot, Condorcet, Buffou, 
Do la Lande, and fifty others, all a little cracked. 

Bo to their faults a little blind, 
To tlieir virtues ever kind. 

Education! oh education ! the greatest grief of my heart and the greatest affliction 
of my life ! To my mortification I must confess that I have never closely thought or 
deliberately reflected upon the subject, which never occurs to me now without pro- 
ducing a deep sigh, a heavy groan, and sometimes tears. My cruel destiny separated 
me from my children almost continuiilly from their birth to their manhood. I was 
compelled to leave them to the ordinary routine of reading, writing, and Latin 
school, academy, and college. John, alone, was much with me, and he but occa- 

If I venture to give you my thoughts at .'ill, they must be very crude. I have 
turned over Locke, Milton, Condillac, Rousseau, and even Miss a bird 
flies through the air. The "Preceptor" I have thought a good book. Grammar, 
rhetoric, logic, ethics, mathematics, can not be neglected. Classics, in spite of our 
friend Rush, I must think indispensable. Natural history, mechanics, and experi- 
mental philosophy, chemistry, etc., at least their rudiments, can not be forgotten. 
Geography, astronomy, and even history and chronology, though I am myself afflicted 
with a kind of pyrrhonism in the two latter, 1 presume can not be omitted. The- 
ology I would leave to Ray, Durham, Nieuwentyt, and Pa ley, rather than to Luther, 
Zi"zendorf, Swedenborg, Wesley, or Whitefield, or Thomas A<iuinas, or Wollebius. 
Metaphysics I would leave in the clou«ls with the materialists and spiritualists, 
with Leibnitz, Berkeley, Priestley, and Edwards, and, I might add, Hume and Keed. 
Or, if permitted to be read, it should be with romances and novels. What shall I say 
of music, drawing, fencing, dancing, and gymna.stic exercises? What of languages, 
oriental or occidental; of French, Italian, German, or Russi.'in; of Sanscrit, or of 
Chinese? The task you have prescribed to me of grou[»ing these sciences or arte 
under professors, within the views of an enlightened economy, is far Iwyond my 
forces. Loose indeed, and undigested, must be all the hints I can note. 

Might grammar, logic, and rhetoric be under one professor? Might mathematics, 
mechanics, and natural philosophy be nnd«'r another? Geogniphy and astronomy 
under a third? Laws and government, liist(»ry, and chronology under a fourth? 
Classics might require! a fifth. Condillac's course of study has excellent p<»rt.s; 
among- many systems of mathematics — English, French, and American — there is none 
preferable to Bezout's course; La Harpe's course of literature is very valaable.' 

'Lack of space forbids a comparison of Franklin's ideas on education with those 
of W^ashington, Hamilton, and Ma<lison. Washington and Hamilton correspondetl 
freely about the establishing of a national university as a school for the political 
training of American youth for the public service. I can only refer to the subject 


The correspondence between Adam's and Jefferson brings to light 
the education which these eminent men had received, and our acquaint- 
ance with their public services and their j^rivate life suggests to us 
some comparisons between their views on education and enables us to 
understand how three men so efficiently equipped for their work in life 
as were Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson, contemporaries, colleagues, 
and associartes in several of the most important public services of the 
century, advocated educational views in conformity with their own in- 
dividual experience and education in life. Franklin was self educated, 
and liis plan of education is that all others should do likewise; Adams 
is college-bred, of ancient New England family, a born politician, a 
lawyer, a statesman, recognizing different classes in society with inter- 
ests somewhat discordant, and seeking to establish public education at 
public expense ; Jefferson's educational views resemble Adams's rather 
than Franklin's, for Jefferson, like Adams, viewed the subject in its 
legal aspect, though he differed greatly from Adams in his personal 
interest in agriculture, in mechanics, in invention, and in architecture. 

Jeff'erson's educational views may be gathered from his correspond- 
ence, and particularly from h\s letters written during the last twenty 
years of his life: 

I have long entertained the hope [he writes] that this, onr native State, "wonld 
take up tlie subject of education and make an establishment there, with or without 
incorporation into that of William and Mary College, where every branch of science 
deemed useful at this day should be taught in its highest degree. With this view I 
have lost no* occasion of making myself acquainted with the organizations of the 
best seminaries in other countries and with the opinions of the most enlightened in- 
dividuals on the 8ul»ject of the sciences worthy of a place in such an institution. In 
order to prepare what I had promised our trustees I have lately revised these several 
plans with attention, and I am struck with the diversity of arrangement observable 
in them, no two being alike. Yet I have no doubt that these several arrangements 
have been the subject of mature reflections l»y wise and learned men who, contem- 
plating local circumstances, have adapted them to the section of society for which 
they have been framed. I am strengthened in this conclusion by iin examination of 
each separately, and the conviction that no one of them, if adopted without change, 
would be suited to the circumstances and pursuits of our country. The example 
they have set to them is authority for ns to select from their different institutions 
the materials which are good for us, and with them to erect a structure whose ar- 
rangement shall correspond with our own social ccmdition, and shall admit of en- 
largement in proportion to the encouragement it may merit and receive.' 

After this sensible introduction, wliich contains a wholesome warning against 
mere imitation in educational establishments and a proper recognition of peculiar 
local conditions in every individual foundation, .Jefferson jiroceeds to survey the gen- 
eral field of education and to mark out that i)articular portion to be occujtied by the 
proposed institution in his immediate neighborhood. He considers the subject under 
three heads: elementary schools, general schools, and professional schools. Under 
the first head he observes that it is the duty of a government to see that every citi- 
zen is educated according to his condition and pursuits in life. He divides the mass 
of citizens into the laboring and the learned classes, including under the former agri- 
cultural labor and handicrafts and under the latter certain skilled labor and tech- 
nical knowledge. Elementary schools will suffice for the laboring classes. Jef- 
^______ ^_ • 

' Adams's Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia, pp. 62-64, freely quoted. 

franklin's ideas in KDlCAi'lON. 181 

fcrson ii()t«!8 the fact that ii plan AViis once, inoposod to the I*ij;iHlutur«i of Virginia to 
tlivitle fvery county into hundreds of wards, 5 or fi miles square, earh ward to 
have its own echools, lor the eleniontary education of the children in reading;, writ- 
ing, arithmetic, and geography. He expresses the hope that this project, once inef- 
fectually attempted, may he resumed " in a more jiromising form. " I'a.'tsing to the 
second head, Jefferson remarks that pupils leaving the elementary schools will sep- 
arate into two classes, for the pursnit of laltor an<l science, respectively. I'upils 
destined for the latter will go to c<dlege, where higher education is afforded by gen- 
eral schools and is specialized in professional schools. The learned class he divides 
into sections : first, those destined for professional life and, t^eeoud, the wealthy, wh«i 
"may aspire to share in conducting the affairs of the nation or live with usefulness 
and respect in the private ranks of life. " Both the learned and the wealthy will re- 
quire the higher education, hut the former will need to specialize and pass from the 
general to the professional schools. 

Jefi'erson then attempts to classify the branches of useful scieuce, which ought to 
be taught in the general schools. He groups them under three departments: lan- 
guage, mathematics, andphilosophj'. In the first department he arranges languages, 
and history (ancient and modern), grammar, belles-lettres, rhetoric ami orat4jry, and 
a school for the deaf, dumb, and blind. " History," he says, " is here asso(-iat<>d 
with languages, not as a kindred subject, but on a j)rinciple of economy, because 
both may be attained by the same course <)f reading, if books are selected with that 
view." This thought, originally advanced by Jeifer.son as the basis of elementary 
education, became in the person of George Long, the classical historian, «»ne <if the 
ideal cornerstones of the University of Virginia. Under the head of mathematics, 
Jefferson classified the following sciences: pure mathematics, physico-mathemat- 
ic8, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, botany, zoology, anatomy, and the theory of 

Under philosophy he grouped ideology, ethics, the law of nature and of nations, 
government, and political economy. By the term i<l4'ylogy, Jefferson njeant simply 
the science of the human understanding. He borrowed his novel term from a French 
writer, Count Destutt Tracy, member of the senate and of the Institute of Frances 
whose treatiS'j on the elements of ideology was first published in France in the year 
1801, and is reported by Jeifer.son to have been condemned by Napoleon as •' the dark 
and metaphysical doctrine of ideology, which, diving into first causes, founds on 
this basis a legislation of the piiople."' This work, which the presen* generation 
would probably condemn on other grounds, made a profound impression upon Jef- 
ferson, who wished to establish democracy upon a philosophical basis. 


Let us observe what Jefferson said to Peter Carr c«)ncerning jtrofessiomil schools, 
the third and last topic of the .dis<-ussion. To these schools \v<»uhl come those 
students who propose to make learning their profession and who wish to pursue 
particular science with more nunuteness and detail than is jjossible in the cidlei^o 
proper, which would give sinqdy a liberal education. '• In these professional si-hocds 
each science is to be taught in the highest degree it has yet attained." Here Jeffer- 
son discovers the real uuiversity idea and at the same time the ideaof sjiecialization 
for a definite purpose. "To these professional schools will come," he snys, "the 
lawyer to the school of law ; the ecclesiastic to that of thetdogy and ecclesiawtical 
history; the physician to those of the practice of medicine, materia medicii, phar- 
nuicy, and surgery; the military man to that of military and naval architecture and 
projectiles; the agricnltor to that of rural economy ; the gentleman, the architect, 
the pleasure gardener, painter, and musician to the school of fine arts." 

'Jefferson's letter to Colonel Duane, April 4, 1813, given in Adams's Thoma^ Jeffer- 
son and the University of Pennsylvania. 



Besides the university idea and the thought of these special schools Jeflferson, in 
his letter to Carr, clearly anticipated the modern idea of technical education. He 
proposed what he called a "school of technical philosophy," where certain of the 
higher branches should bo taught in abridged form to meet practical wants. " To 
such a school," he said, " will come the mariner, carpenter, shipwright, pump-maker, 
clock-maker, machinist, oi)tician, nietallnrgist, founder, cutler, druggist, brewer, 
vintner, distiller, dyer, painter, bleacher, soap-maker, tanner, powder-inaker, salt- 
maker, glass-maker, to learn as much as shall be necessary to i)ursue tlieir art under- 
standiugly, of the sciences of geometry, mechanics, statics, hydrostatics, hydraulics, 
hydrodynamics, navigation, astronomy, geography, optics, ])ueumatic8, acoustics, 
physics, chemistry, natural history, botany, mineralogy, and i)harmacy." In this 
school of technology Jefferson proposed to grouj) the students in convenient classes 
for elementary and practical instruction by lectures to be give'n in the evening, so 
as to aftord an opportunity lor labor in the day-time. Military exercises were to be 
required on certain days throughout the entire course for all grades of students. 
Thus the features of military schools, technological institutes and modern agricul- 
tural colleges were associated with the higher education in a people's university, jis 
conceived by Thomas Jefferson. 

Of course JefTersfm did not expect to realize all at once this educational scheme 
as proposed to Peter Carr. He urged, as a practical beginning, the establishment 
of a general school or college, with four professorships, giouping (1) language and 
History, belles-lettres, rlietoric and oratory; (2) mathematics, jdiysics, etc.; (3) 
chemistry and other natural sciences; (4) philosophy, wliich, in his view, included 
political science. He said these professorships "must be subdivided from time to 
time as our means, until each professor shall have no more under his care 
than he can attend to with a4lvant.ige to his pupils and case to himself." With 
farther increase of resour<!es,^>rofessional scliools were to be adde<l. Such were the 
fundamental lines of thought which gave sliapo to the first jiroject for a University 
of Virginia, in Jefferson's own neighborhood. Like the preliminary drawings of a 
great artist, these bold outlines have a permanent interest in the student." ' 

By comparison of the educational views of Franklin, Jefferson, and 
John Adams we conclude that the ])resent public school system of the 
United States, which is established by the constitutions and laws of 
the several States, is in conformity with the educatioual views of John 
Adams. While it can not be affirmed that he was the soleorigiuatbr of 
the system of American public schools, it may be said truly that he is 
the earliest eminent American statesman who incorporated a provision 
for 8u<!h public education, not only in his writings on government but 
in his political service, and particularly in that clause which he wrote 
in the constitution of Massachusetts of 17B0, providing for a system of 
education at public expense. Adams at least had the philosophy of 
education on his side, for he set forth his ideas on t\w universal prin- 
ciple of the general welfare, sipproaching the subject from a considera- 
tion of the universal character of educat ion ; while l^Yankliu approached 
it from a con.sideration of the individual, and of the utilities which 
arc resultant from education. Adams, therefore, identifying the inter- 
ests of education and the interests of the masses, stands among those 
who founded our educational system. Franklin outlined a method 

'Adams, "Thomas Jefferson aud the Uuiversity of Virginia," pp. 62-04. 



fulapted to the wants of individuals, but at the same time d(?pendent 
upon those individuals for its successful operation. . He founded no syH- 
tern of education; he did not identify the oi>eration of his educational 
plans with the necessity and growth of the State. Self education may 
be said to be the natural method of education, this was Franklin's plan. 
Education at the expense of the State, according to law, so earnestly 
advocated by John Adams may be called the conventional system, 
practicable and advantageous in a country like ours. Jefferson took a 
somewhat higher ground, recognizing that education must be dire<;ted 
by those technically trained to perform its duties. He compared the ed- 
ucational institutions of Europe before he attempted to found the Uni- 
versity of Virginia, and sought to incorporate in that University the 
best of all that he saw abroad that was adapted to the wants of Amer 
ica. He would found an institution in which not only the young might 
pursue all studies, but also an institution which w<mld provide techni- 
cal instruction for those who would pursue parti(;nlar stndies at great 
length. If John Adams is the father of the common school and Benja- 
min Franklin the model of the self-educated man, Thomas Jefferson is 
the promoter of the university idea in America. 

The influence of the ideas that each of the^e men advocated is clearly 
discernible in the educational history of America. We have the public 
school system, the education of the masses by the masses, John Adams's 
idea; we have the technical school in the university, Jefferson's idea; 
and we have the means of self education, books, business, factories, 
libraries, learned societies, nature, and the human soul, capable of 
making use of these opportunities, Franklin's idea. That it may appe^ir 
more clearly what has been the influence of Franklin's ideas of educa- 
tion ill this country, I may conclude my sket<!h by briefly outlining 
several institutions which he founded in Philadelphia, or which have 
deveh)ped according to his ideas : The American Philosophical Society, 
the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute, Girard 
College, the Philadelphia Manual Training Schools, and the University 
of Pennsylvania. 

The American Phih»so])hical Society dates from the 25tli of May, 
1743, when Franklin published his famous prosjiectus for its estab- 
lishment. It was incorporated by act of the legislatuie of I'euusyl- 
vania, March 15, 1780, as "The American Philosojihical Society, held 
at IMiiladelaphia, for Promoting Useful Knowledge." The language of 
the act of incorporation describes its functions: "The cultivation of 
useful knowledge and the advancement of the liberal arts and sciences ;" 
"the prosecution and advancement of all useful branches of knowledge" 
for the benefit of mankind. The history of this venerable society, 
the oldest of its kind in the world, is the liistory of nuKlern science. 
Franklin was its first president, elected January 2, 17Gi), and serving 
until his death. He was succeeded by the eminent David Rittenhouse, 


who served from 1791-1790. The other presidents and iheii-. terms were 
as follows: Thomas Jefferson, 1797-1815; Caspar Wistar, 1815-1818; 
Robert Patterson, 1819-1821; WiUiam Tilghman, 1825; Peter Stephen- 
sou Duponceau, 1828; Eobert M. Patterson, 1845; Nathaniel Chapman, 
1846; Robert N. Patterson, 1849; Franklin Bache, 1853; Alexander 
Dallas Bache, 1855; John Kay Kane, 1857; George B. Wood, 1859; 
Frederick Fraley, 1880. 

Franklin Bache and Alexander Dallas Bache were great grandsons 
of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin Bache was distinguished as a chemist, 
as professor of chemistry in the Jefferson Medical College, as one ol 
the authors of the Dispensatory of the United States, and of many con- 
tributions on cognate subjects. 

Alexander Dallas Bache resembled his illustrious ancestor. He was 
a self-educated man, a grjiduate of West Point, professor of chemistry 
and natural philosophy in the University of Pennsylvania, an active 
member of the Franklin Institute, of which he was a zealous and suc- 
cessful promoter, and first president of Girard College. He laid the 
plans for the Philadelphia High School, and as its first principal organ- 
ized it, but won his chief fame as the head of the Coast Survey of the 
United States. His mind,4ike Franklin's, was interested in all matters 
of public concern and he rendered eflQcient services in a multitude of 
matters by which his name is intimately associated with many of the 
most useful enterprises of a private and public nature in the educational 
affairs of the country. 

The American Phih)Sophical Society has enrolled in its membership 
the most eminent men of the last century in all countries. The records 
of the Proceedings of the Society shows a multitude of useful subjects 
which it has from time to time considered. The record of the last meet- 
ing at which Franklin presided and of the two meetings that took 
notice of his death are as follows : 

1789. Oct. 2. (6 present; Franklin presiding. ) 

The Royal Irish Academy sent their Transactions, Vol. i. Ordered, That the sec- 
retaries send in acknowledgment Transactions American Philoso]ihical Society, 
Vols., II. 

Thos. P<de, of London, sent through his brother, Ed. Pole, of Philadelphia, a letter 
of thanks for election, and "a description and drawing of a remarkable tumor 
which lately occurred in his practice." 

Coal, white vitriol, slate, brick, burnt slate, alum, niter, freestone, and Indian 
pottery lately found in a bank near Washington were presented throngb Franklin 
Ijy David Reddick, esq. 

P. Young's Essay on the Powers and Mechanisms of Nature wsia presented through 
Franklin by Samuel Mather, of London. 

Specimens of the PapjTiis of Syr.icuse were presented by Franklin. 

1790. April 23. Special meeting. (19 present.) 

To consider of some testimony of respect to the memory of the late illustrious 

An eulogy voted, to "be prepare<l by one of their members, to be ])ronounced be- 
fore this body as soon as may be convenient." 

Dr. \Vm. Smith and Dr. Rittenhouse "were highest in votes." by ballot "and had 
each an equal number." 


"=-t^s-«.w>' '■ 

I-rom the original in possession of the American Philosophical S<K.-iety. by ,.erniissiou. 

franklin's ideas in education. 185 

These gentleuieu » * " cousentiug tliat the said ciilogiun. • shall 

certainly he prepared, it Ih left to themselves to determine which of them Hhall de- 
liver it. ' 

1790. April 21. Special meeting called by the vice-presidents at 3J p. m., in the 
hiill; tweuty three members present, who "went in procession to the funeral oftheir 
late illustrious president. Dr. Benjamin Franklin." 

A list of the papers published in the "Traii8a<^',tioii8 of the S<K;iety" 
is tlie record of modern science. Among the writers of tliese pajM^rs 
are Dr. Joseph Priestley, Edw. D. Cope, Robert Hare (the inventor of 
the blowpipe), Benjamin Franklin, S. S. Haldeman (the eminent philolo- 
gist), Dr. Harrison Allen, Elias Loomis (the eminent mathematician), 
David Rittenhouse, Ferdinand V. Hayden, Franklin Bache, John L. 
Leconte, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Dr. George F. Barker, Dr. S. Weir 
Mitchell, Joseph Henry, Dr. Caspar Wistar, Henry Phillips, Jr., Dr. E. 
Otis Kendall, Dr. Daniel G. Briuton, Dr. Persifor Frazer, Dr. Edgar 
F. Smith, Dr. Joseph Leidy, Horatio C. Wood, Alexander Winchell, 
O. C. Marsh, Franklin Peale, Dr. William Pepper, Edwin J. Hou.ston, 
John Hechewelder, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, Henry 
Draper, B. Henry Latrobe, John W. Draper, Dupont de ^Nemours, Pliny 
E. Chase, Dr. George Hays, Joseph T. Rothrock. 

Among the papers are Transmission of Acids in VaiK)r (Priestley), 
Experiments on Air (Priestley), Air Pump and aNew Construction f Hare), 
Causes and Cureof Smoky Chiinneys(Franklin),Encke'sComet(Loomi8), 
Coral Reefs (A. D. Bache), Disease of the Thorax (Wistar), Trial by 
Jury (Price), Stone Implements in Asia and Africa (Henry Phillips, jr.), 
Precii)itati(ni of Copper with Sodium Carbonate (E. F. Smith), Oxygen 
in the Sun (John W. Draper), Observations on Jupiter and Satellites 
(Kendall), Extinct Vertebrae from Nebraska (Leidy), Galvanometer 
Lantern (Barker), Universal Hyperostacist (William Pei>i)er), Electro- 
Dynamic Induction (Joseph Henry), Geology of Wyoming and Colorado 
(Hayden), Cretaceous Fishes of the United States and other ])apers 
(Cope), Microscopic Destructions in AVoods (Rothrock).^ 

The hall of the American Philosophical Society, of which an illustra- 
tion is given, was erected in 17^. The east meeting room overUwks 
the historic Independence Square, south of the old Statehouse, with 
whose associations Franklin is identified. 

The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, for the, promo- 
tion of mechanic arts, was founded in the year 1824. Its membership 
numbers about 2,(K)0, and persons of either sex, who are friendly to tlie 
object of the Institute, are eligible for election. At its monthly meet- 
ings new inventions and processes in the arts and manufactures are 

' The eulogj' was pronounced by Dr. William Smith. 

-Subject, Register of Papers publishe<l in the Transactions and Proceedings of the 
American Philosophical Society, compiled by Henry Phillips, jr., a secretary of the 
society, Philadelphia, MacCalla «!• Co., printers, Nos. 237-239 Dock street, 1889. 

Sec Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, November 21, 1889, vol.27, 
p. 131 ; also Proceedings at the Dinner Commemorative of the Centennial Anniversary 
of the Incorporation of the Society, March 15, 1880; also American Philosophical So- 
ciety, Celebration of the One hundredth Anniversary, May 25, 1843, pp. 1-232. 


shown iiiid described ; the papers upon the various eugiiieering, mechan- 
ical, and industrial fields arti read and discussed; it maintains a library 
of scientific and technical books and periodicals, containing over 37,000 
volumes, 23,000 pamphlets, 20,000 maps and charts, and over 1,000 pho- 
tographs, classified and catalogued. It is exclusively scrientific and tech- 
nical in character and is steadily increasing in numbers and iiiii)ortance. 
It embiaces, in addition to the standard and current works on mechan- 
ics, physics, and chemistry, pure and applied, the publications of the 
principal scientific and technical societies of Ihe world, files of 4(M) home 
and foreign scientific and te(;hnical serials, accessible to all members in 
good standing, and complete sets of British (and colonial), French, Ger- 
man, Austro-Hungafian, Russian, and American patent records open 
for insj^ection. It maintains courses of lectures each winter on sub- 
jects of a scientific and technical character. These lectures, about 30 
in number, are arranged by the general direction of the committee on 
instruction with the assistance of the professors of the Institute. The 
course varies from year to year; it is not pojmlar in character, bnt it is 
a presentation of the latest advances in those branches of science and 
the arts for the advancement of which the Institute was founded. Its 
programme of lectures during the season, l<S92-'93, contains, among 
others, the following subjects and lecturers: 8hip Canals (illustrated) 
by l*rof. Lewis M. Haupt ; The Genesis and ICxodus of Steam, INIr. George 
H. Babcock; Cheap Power, Prof. H. W. Spangler, University of Penn- 
sylvania, etc. It maintains a drawing school for instruction in mechan- 
ical, architectural, and free hand drawing. Its scientific work is con 
du(;ted by means of committ<»es, composed of experts in various branches, 
who give gratuitous aid to inventors and discoverers by examining their 
inventi(ms and making a report on them to the Institute. 

The reports of the Committee of Science and Arts, 1834-1800, are in- 
dexed, and an examination of the. index shows the comprehensive work 
of the Institute during the last half century. There is scarcely an in- 
vention or a discovery of im])ortance during the last half century which 
has not been presented to the FrankliiT Institute and been the subject 
of a committee report. In recent years the specialization of sciences 
has caused the Institute to appoint a chemical section and an electrical 
.sedition, in committee, so that inventions and discoveries in these spe- 
cial departments may receive more particular attention. 

The i)roceedings of the Cliemical Section from January to December, 
18fK), (iontain i)apers, inter alia, on Electro-Deposition of Platinum, Wil- 
liam 11, Wahl; The Present Condition of the Philadelphia Water Sup- 
ply, Samuel C. Hooker; Tiic Action of tlie Hydrogen-Sulphide Gas ui)on 
Metallic Amines, E. F. Kellar and E. F. Smith, and many other papers 
of importance. 

The i)roceedingsof the Electrical Section, January to December, 1891, 
contain, among others, Electro-Magnetic Machiiierj'^, William S. Aldrich; 
Experimental Analogue for the Direction of Induced Currents, Prof. 

franklin's ideas in education. 187 

L. F. Roiuliiiella; Artificial Kain-Making, Prof. Edwin J. Houston 
and many other papers. 

These papers may be named as illustration of the high order of work 
considered by these committees. 

The Institute has held exhibitions for the encx)urageraent of the 
arts and of manufactures, of which, perhaps, the most noted were the 
Thirty-seventh Exhibition of American Manufa<;tures, held in the city 
of Philadelphia October 6 to November 12, 1874, and the International 
Electrical Exhibition of the Franklin Institute of 1884. The utility <»f 
these great exhibitions has been demonstrated in their practical effects 
seen in the innumerable improvements in the arts and sciences for 
the encouragement of which they were held, and which may be traced 
" directly to these exhibitions. 

The Institute publishes a Journal, edited by a staff of distinguished 
scientists, devoted to the advancement of science and the mechanic arts, 
and which publishes the most important papers read before the various 
meetings of the Institute. The Journal, like the work of the Institute, 
is widely known throughout the world. Lectures and papers read be- 
fore the meetings of the Institute are reprinted in the leading technical 
journals of America and Europe. 

Mr. Ooleman Sellers, president of the Institute, on the occasion of the 
commemorative exercises at the fiftieth anniversary of its founding, 
said : 

Our Franklin InBtitute was from the beginning a mecbanic'n institute in one sense 
of the word. It taught by lectures, but sumetiuies by classes, but it was always 
more than Avas contemplated by the societies abroiid. If I may so express myself, it 
was, and still is, a democratic learned society; it is not exclusive, no well-behaved 
person is excluded from its membership; all who desire to reap its b«'uetits or to aid 
in its great work of promoting the meclianic arts can join it. This is not ho with 
the so-called learned societies of this and other lands; they select their members 
from among those who have already distinguished themselves among the arts or sci- 
ences, or are likely to distinguish themselves; hence their membership is confined 
solely to the learned of the land. Now, mark the dift'erence in ourca-ne: learned men 
join our society, and in this hall come in coutiict with those who may bo unlearned, 
so far as books are concerned, but better informc<l in some special art or trade. 
Theory and practice are brought together; each helps the other. Distinguished sci- 
entists admit that they are in<lebted to this association for informatiuu of a prac- 
tical character, probably not obtainable otherwise. 

I need not say that all this is in keeping with Franklin's ideas in ed- 
ucation; it is the junto in science. Perhaps no better ilinstration of 
the work of the Institute can be given than to present the proceedings 
ot one of its stated meetings. 

[Preeeediaga of the stated meeting held Wednesday, October 19, 1892.] 

Hali. ok TiiK Frank MX Institutk, 

Philadelphia, October 19, 189t. 
Mr. Henry R. Heyl in the chair. 
Present, 190 members and 22 visitors. 
Additions to membership since last report, 5. 


TIjc secretary reported the resiguatioii, from the committee ou science and the 
arts, of Dr. George A. Kouuig. An election was ordered to fill the vacancy. 
. Mr. Shaw nominated Mr. F. M. Jacqnith; Prof. Rondinella nominated Mr. Y. 
Lynwood Garrison. Mr. Garrison received '12 votes, and Mr. Jacqnith 12. Mr. Gar- 
rison was acconliugly declared elected. 

Mr. F. E. Ives read a jjaper descriptive of the principles of construction and oper- 
ation of the hellochromoscope, a new oi»tical instrument of his invention for the 
reproduction of natural colors in jihotography. The speaker at the close of the 
meeting exhibited a photograph of a bouquet of natural flowers in the apparatus, 
by means of which the natural colors of the objectswere very faithfully reproduced. 
Mr. Ives's paper was discussed by Messrs. Goldschmidt, FuUerton, Cooper, and the 
secretary. The paper was referred for publication. 

Mr. S. Y. Buckman described an automatic tin-plate machine of his invention, and 
in connection therewith gave a sketch of the present state of the art of making tin 
plates. The machine of Mr. Buckman ta.kes the pickled sheets (which are longer 
than those used in the usual method of hand-dipping), and successively and con- 
tinuously performs the operations of scouring, drying, joining, fluxing, and coating, 
and turns out the product in a continuous strip of terneplate of any desired length. 
(Referred for publication.) 

Mr. W. E. Lockwood described the Boyer railway speed recorder and an improved 
smoke and spark-consuming device in locomotive practice. 

The secretary in his monthly report referred to the present condition of the Nic- 
aragua Canal enterprise, and i)resented an abstract of the proceedings of the recent 
national Nicaragua Canal convention, held at St. Louis, in which the project was 
cordially indorsed. 

Mr. Shaw moved that the president be empowered to appoint a committee of 
three to confer with a similar committee to be named by the Manufacturers' Club, 
with the object of preparing a statement embodying the views of the two bodies for 
transmission to the Department of State. Carried. 


Wm. H. Wahl, Secretary. 

The journal at present numbers 132 volumes, 1820-1892, and is a most 
valuable record of tlie progress of science during the last half century 
in this country. Before the meetings of the Institute are read papers 
on important scientific and technical subjects, which are discussed, and 
if of unusual interest are publishetl.' The educational work of the In- 

Bulletins of the Franklin Institute: Franklin Institute Announcement and Pro- 
gramme of Lectures, 1892-'93. 

The Report of the 27th Exhibition of American Manufactures, held in the city of 
Philadelphia October 6 to November 12, 1874, by the Franklin Institute, Philadjel- 
phia, 1874. 

Official Catalogue of the International Electrical Exhibition, Franklin Institute, 

Commemorative Exercises at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Franklin Institute, 
Philadelphia, 1874. 

Proceedings of the Chemical Section, Franklin Institute, Vol. ii, 1890. 

Proceedings of the Electrical Section «f the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 

Index of Reports of the Committee on Science and the Arts, 1834-1890, published 
by the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 1890. 

The Journal of the Franklin Institute, July, 1892. 

Bulletins of the Franklin lu.stitute, 1892. 

Franklin Institute Announcement and Programme of Lectures, 1892-'93. 

franklin's ideas in education. 189 

stitute has recently been the subject of exhaustive examiuation by the 
Hon. W. T. Harris, United States Commissioner of Education, and is 
set forth by him in his Eeport.' When, in 1824, the charter for the 
Franklin Institute was obtained, the name of Franklin naturally sug 
gested itself as the fittest to describe the purpose of the founding of 
the institute. Of its founders, Prof. Keating, professor of chemistry in 
the tJniversity of Pennsylvania at that time, was perhaps foremost, 
and demonstrated that the Franklin Institute owes its existence to the 
labors of men who, as professors in the University of Pennsylvania, 
were well qualified to lay the foundation of such a noble work. While 
the Franklin Institute is not an offshoot of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, it was founded by University men, and has always enrolled in 
its professional staft" and among its most active members eminent 
scientists connected Avith the University of Pennsylvania. I might say 
that the Institute has always pursued the methods laid down by Frank 
Im in its scientific researches, methods which, however varying, may be 
called comparative. To-day the medal of the Franklin Institute, whose 
design is a bust of Benjamin Franklin, is given in recognition of the 
most vahiable discoveries .and inventions, and to receive it is to receive 
the highest authoritative recogirition of merit that can be obtained in 
this country. 

It will be remembered that Franklin drew up a plan for improving 
the condition of the free blacks, and also for the instruction and care 
of orphan children.^ These are to be found in the " Hints for Considera 
tion Respecting the Orphan School Houses in Philadelphia," and in his 
letter to Washington concerning the education of the children of the 
free blacks. It was Stephen Girard, who by will, in the year 183(), 
first made provision in Philadeli)hia for the education of orphans by 
providing that $2,000,000 should be applied and expended in erecting 
a permanent college, "sufficiently spacious for the residence and ac- 
commodation of at least 300 scholars and the requisite teachers and 
other persons necessary in such an institution." He provided that — 

As many poor white male orphans between the ages of 6 and 10 years ns the said 
income shall be udoqiiato to maintain shall bo introdnced into the college as soon 
as possible; and from time to time, as there may be vacancies, or as increased ability 
from income may warrant, others shall be introduced. 

On application for admission a correct statement should be taken in 
a book prepared for the purpose of the name, birthplace, age, health, 
condition as to relatives, and other particulars useful to be known of 
each orphan. 

No orphan can be admitted until the guardians or directors of the 
poor, or the proper guardian or other competent authority, shall l>e 

' See Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1890-'91. 

2 Spark's Life and Writings of Franklin, Vol. ii, p. 513. Idem, p. 159, Hints for 
Consideration Respecting the Orphan School Houses in Philadelphia. 


given for the entire relinquishment or otherwise adequate power to the 
mayor, aldenuen, and citizens of Philadelphia, or to the directors, or to 
others by them appointed, to enforce in relation to each orphan every 
proper restraint, and to prevent relatives or others from interfering 
with or withdrawing such orphans from the institution. 

Preference must be given, "first, to orphans born in the city of Phil- 
adelphia; secondly, to those born in any other part of Pennsylvania; 
thirdly, to those born in the State of New York, and, lastly, to those 
born in the city of New Orleans." 

The orphans admitted into the college sliall be there fed with plain but wholesome 
food, clothed with plain but decent apparel (no distinctive dress ever to be worn), 
and lodged in plain but saft; manner. Due regard shall bo paid to their health, and 
to this end their persons and clothes shall bo kept clean, and they shall have suita- 
ble rational exercise and recreation. 

They shall be instructed in the various branches of a sound education, compre- 
hending reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, geography, navigation, surveying, 
practical mathematics, astronomy, natural, chemical, and experimental jilulosophy, 
the French and Spanish languages (I do not forbid, but I do not recommend, the Greek 
and Latin languages), and sucli other learning and science as the capacities of the 
several scholars may merit or warrant. 

I would have them taught fact« and things rather than words and signs. And 
especially I desire that by every proper means a pure attachment to our republican 
institutions and to the sacred rights of conscience, as guaranteed by our happy con- 
stitutions, shall be formed and fostered in the minds of the scholars. 

My desire is that all the instructors and teachers in the college shall take pains to 
instill into the minds of the scholars the various principles of morality, so that on 
their entrance into active life they may, from inclination and habit, evince benevo- 
lence towards their fellow-creatures, and a love of truth, sobriety, and industry, 
a<lopting at the same time such religious tenets .as their mature reason may enable 
them to prefer. 

Under the terms of this will the college buildings were begun in 1834 
and finished in 1847. The institution was opened for pupils the follow- 
ing year. The Girard estate is under the care of the Board of Directors 
of City Trusts of the city of Philadelphia, and on the 31st ot December, 
1891, it was reported that Girard College, ground and buildings, had 
cost $3,250,000, and that the total expenditure for the college for the 
current year was $453,247.20. 

Academic work at Girard College is performed by instructors selected 
with the utmost care, and wherever possible, after competitive examina- 
tions. The boys are well clothed and fed, carefully looked after in 
sickness by skillful physicians and compet:ent nurses, and are, with 
rare exceptions, happy and contented. 

At the close of the year 1891 , there were in the college 1,580 boys, as 
many as can be jic<;ommodated or maintained with the present iiuorae. 

The total number of admissions from the opening of the college in 
1848 to the 3l8t of December, 1891, was 4,720. They leave at the age 
of 18 years, or younger, and their record during the last forty-four 
years is highly creditable to the managers of the institution. 

franklin's ideas in education. 191 

President Fetterolf, in his reiwrt for December 31, 1891, says: 

In the work of training the hoys of Girard College, the opportnnitiffl are many 
and the difticiilties not few. Wo have the entire control of t!io hoy. We have liini 
during liis honrs of play, as well as during his hours of work and study. He Hpends 
his Sundays with us as well as his week days, and in most cases the greater part of 
bis vacations. 

He loses the benefit of the hoin« surroundings. The softening, rotiuing, and ele- 
vating influence of the family fireside can not exist except in the home. To makeup 
for this, as far as possible, is our highest aim. The boy in the institution missefl the 
thoughtful commendations which, in the family, would come to him on his daily re- 
turn from school, as well as the thousand little words, tokens, and offices of affection 
which the members of the family are naturally accustomed to give. In the instita- 
tion boys are taught some lessons not always incsiilcated in the family, such as punctu- 
ality, prompt obedience, habits of system and order. In so larg(! a conmiunitj of 
boys as wo have in Girard College, there is also taught self-reliance and independ- 
ence. • Living always among so many, and mingling with others of <lifrerent age, 
size, and disposition, they are early taught many lessons in bearing and forbearing, 
such as the boy reared in the private family has to learn later in life. 

The president feels that his position is tliat of the head of a large family nn well 
as principal of a great school, and as suchiie aims to make the government parental 
rather than military, on the principle that ho governs best who appears to govern 
least. He dt^sii'es that the teachers and offtcers, in the discharge of their daily cluties, 
should mingle with the Imys as elder members of the family, whose presence implies 
respect, confidence, and obedience. There should be mutual sympathy, each having 
in mind the best interests ami welfare of the other, and the result would Ije order 
and general good discipline, without having the boy constantly feel that he is being 
governed. So long as there are oHeiises, there must be penalties; but we look upon 
punishments of any kind as a temporary check, rather than iia a means of reform. 
Reformation is brought about by jjersonal appeal, by the power of correct example, 
and by any other means by which there is implanted in the boy a «lesire for a better 
life. Moral delinquencies arc generally the result of moral disorders, which, like 
physical disorders, require individual treatment. 

Much is said nowadays in criticism cf institution life, and with much of it we 
fully agree. Every intelligent person will admit that a g<)od home is a fietter place 
for a child than the best institution. Neither does the institution aim to be the rival 
of, or to take the place of, the family. It is only when the family is broken np and 
the child deprived of its natural protectors by death or, and the state or 
charity must come to his relief, that the institution l»ecome8 an expedient. It should 
bo remembered, too, that life in the family, in the institution, and in the community 
depends very much upon the environment, upon the spirit which pervades, upon the 
companions and friends the child meets. If, in the family, the father and mother 
and adult members are harsh, cold, and unsympathi/ing, there will be neither happy 
childhood nor healthy development of character. If, in the institution, the govern- 
ment and instniition are in tho hands of men and women of intelligence, judgment, 
and force of character, and the children are jiroteeted from the corrupting influence 
of evil companions, tliey may bo expected to grow up to be truthful, honorable, and 
pure-minded. The most potent influences in tho formation of character are example 
and association. The young can not live in the presence of sin for any length of 
time and remain untainted; they can not breathe an atmosphere of evil and remain 
pure. It is for reasons such as these that we should remove from (Jirard College 
the vicious, the incorrigible, and tlio immoral. Evil communications corrupt goo«l 
manners. Tho politic, like tho body corporat-e, can only l»c kept in a healthful con- 
dition by removing contagious evils. No institution, no school can aflbrd to keep 
bad boys. They sow corrupting seed, which spreatls rapidly like a noxious weed. 



The incorrigible boy should not be neglected, but he should be separately provided 
for. To permit him to mingle with other boys, young and innocent, is unwise and 
unjust. Fortunately, the will of the founder is clear and explicit in its provisions 
on this point. 

Tlie course of study in the college covers eiglit years. It is divided 
into the instruction of the first, the second, the third, and the fourth 
schools, the department of English, the department of French, the de- 
l)artment of Spanish, the department of natural history, the depart- 
ment of general physics, the department of general mathematics, and 
the department of graphics. In 1891 the depprtment of electrical me 
chanics was opened, to which the older and more advanced pupils of 
the several classes attending the mechanical school are admitted. This 
new department is in reality a department of maiuuil training; the 
course in manual instruction covers a period of five years and to the 
pupils who have spent three or four years in Avood working, metal 
working, foundry and mechanical drawing, the electrical department 
opens a new and practical field. Of the manual training school in the 
college President Fetterolf says : 

Our manual training school is serving an important mission in teaching boys a 
proper conception of manual labor. The children of the laboring classes have born 
and bred in them a distaste for manual labor. Their fathers, and in some cases their 
mothers, have had to struggle hard to make a living in tUe sphere of common labor, 
and they have in their minds only the dark side of the workingman's lot. The sons 
of workingmen, as a class, have no love for mechanical pursuits. They prefer the 
so-called genteeler occupations of the countinghouse or salesroom. The principal 
of the Philadelphia Manual Training School states that less than 10 per cent of the 
boys and young men attending that institution are the sons of artisans. To over- 
come this prejudice, and to teach boys to see in manual labor opportunities for the 
exercise of skill and intelligence, is no small part of the work of the teacher of man- 
ual training. 

The course of study reminds one of the sketch for an English school 
outlined by Franklin. Probably no school in existence conforms more 
closely to Franklin's idea of preparatory education than Girard College; 
it is not known that Stephen Girard was influenced particularly by 
P'ranklin's ideas in education. William Duane, who drew Girard's will^ 
was a grandson of Franklin, and it may be possible that the kind of 
education which Girard sought to foster in his college may have been 
made clear to him by his conversations with Duane. There is noth- 
ing on record, so far as we know, that will enable us to trace any close 
<onnection between the ideas of Franklin and the ideas of Girard. 
There is, however, the influence of environment, and Girard, consciously 
or unconsciously, shows the effect of that influence in the great institu- 
tion which he founded. 

It will be noticed that Girard limited the benefits of his generous 
foundations to white male orphans; as yet no similar institution exists 
in which children of the African race can receive their education. We 
think, had Franklin been planning Girard College, he would not have 

franklin's ideas in education. m^ 

excluded any race from the beuefltsof its instruction. In Mr. Coleman 
Seller's address, already referred to, he said : 

Our common-school education gives us trad.cts, kIvph us shopkeepcrH, but it given 
U8 no artisans. I know not if this can be remedied, but I do know we need some 
other training for our sons and our daughters. 

Since this was spoken in 1874 the city of Philadelphia has established 
manual training schools; at present, three in nnmber. 

The Central Mannal Training School was organized in 188.5, theNorth- 
East Manual Training School in October, 1890, and the James Forten 
Elementery Manual Training School in October, 1891. These schools are 
part of the publico school system of Philadelphia, and are maintained 
by public Jftxation. The course of study in the Central Manual Train- 
ing School is distributed over three years, with an optional fourth. 
These schools are, perhaps, of chiefest historical interest in this place, 
when we consider the ideas of education suggested by Franklin and by 
John Adams. They are the first schools which combine Franklin's and 
Adams's ideas — the instruction of the book and industrial training. In 
his order of studies Franklin provided a modern curriculum by which 
the scholar passed from one group of studies to another. In the manual 
training schools the student approaches literature,* history, and gov- 
ernment, science and mathematics, alternately with drawing and shop 
work. It has been found by experience in these schools that the alter- 
nation from the shops (laboratories) to the recitation rooms rests the 
students; they are enabled to develop harmoniously the various facul- 
ties which they possess. The habit of observation engendered by the 
work in tlie shops is of itself valuable training, an«l is after Franklin's 

It will be remembered that he did not limit the scope of education to 
the preparation of artificers. In hi.s plan for an English school he said: 

Tlins instructed, youth -will come out of this school fitted for learning any busi- 
ness, calling, or profes.sion, except such wherein languages are required; but un- 
ac(iuainted with any ancient or foreign tongue, they will bo masters of their owu, 
which is of more immediate and general use, and withal will have attained many 
other valuable accomplishments; the time usually spent in acquiring those lan- 
guages, often without success, being here employed in laying such a foundation of 
knowledge and ability as, properly improve*!, may qualify them to pass through 
and execute the several offices of civil life with advantage and reputation to them- 
selves and country. 

Franklin's ideas of education, basetl upon utilitarian philosophy, are 
well illustrated in the public education now aftbrded in the Philadel- 
phia manual training schools. I have no doubt that they are the out- 
growth of Franklin's ideas. 

Heretofore [says the principal of the Central school] ' men have cultivated their 
brains at the expense of their hands, while those who worked with their hands 

•Seventh Report of the Manual Training Schools, pp. 117, 118, in Report of the 
Board of Education, Philadelphia, 1892. Report of Principal W. L. Sayre. 

1180 13 


lackei) the opportunity of cultivating their luimls. The busy world to-day demands 
the combination of both, and it is the aim of the manual training school to meet 
this want. 

The records of tlie graduates of the school, as well as of those pupils who have 
been under its influence a shorter time, fully warrant the claims of the advocates 
of manual training as to its practical value in gaining a livelihood. 

Of the 263 graduates, fully 70 per cent are engaged in those industrial pursuits 
in which a high order of intelligence as well as skill of hand is required. They 
are variously engaged as electricians, architects,-chemi8ts, dentists, draftsmen, en- 
gineers, makers of optical and mathematical instruments, plumbers, machinists, 
carpenters, etc. Twenty-five per cent are in higher institutions of learning, and 
the remaining 6 per cent are in business for themselves or with their parents, or are 
engaged as clerks or bookkeepers. 

The boys who have completed its course of study are equipped as 
builders, engineers, founders, machinists, architects, designers, manu- 
facturers, electricians, draftsmen, road builders, contractors, chem 
ists, plumbers, lithographers, snperintendents of manufacturing i^lants, 
stationers and engravers, etc. ; while many are engaged in the study of 
law and of medicine, and of civil and mining engineering. Manual 
training is in its course of development, and doubtless will m time as- 
sume a definite pl^ce in the educational programme of the country. As 
has been said, it illustrates a happy combination of the ideas of Frank- 
lin which tended toward the material education of artificers and of 
men who would know facts and things rather than signs and words, 
and the education of the mere book man, whose knowledge of philo- 
sophical principles is, perhaps, less likely to supply him with bread and 

The Philadelphia manual training schools are the most perfectly 
equipped of any in the country which are under the control of the 
directors of the public schools. Plappily, there is no discrimination in 
them against persons of any race or color; they are free public schools, 
and are carrying out the educational ideas of Franklin ; if we under- 
stand his ideas correctly, he would favor that expenditure of money in 
the education of the masses which will enable them to earn their living, 
to be industrious and practical, and who may, by such education, be 
qualified to ''pass through and execute the several ofiSces of civil life 
witli advantage and reputation to then- selves and country."' 

Of the University of Pennsylvania the greater part of this book is the 
record, and the special papers describing the origin, growth, and char- 
acter of its various departments, carefully prepared by men eminently 
f|ualitied, set forth the history of that institution clearly and adequately; 
it fulfills Franklin's idea of education. 

The Provost of the University, Dr. William Pepper, has briefly arid 
comprehensively stated the scope of the University^ and the history of 
the institution and of its several schools and departments is related by 

'Conclusion of Franklin's paper on the intention of the original founders of the 
academy in Philadelphia June, 1789; supra. 
'Chapter III. 


1881 -. 

franklin's ideas in education. 195 

eminent scholars identified with its work. In these papers may be 
found the history of the first medical schof)! in America/ of the first 
law schools,^ of the origin of our now conunon four years' collegiate 
course, of the first school of finance and political economy,^of the first 
school founded to investigate the laws of health,* of the first s(;hool of 
American history and institutions,* established in the University in 
which Franklin stated the course of study should be one adapted " to 
such a country as our own " and of othet. schools and departments 
equally important established and developed with ever increasing in- 
fluence throughout the country. l!fot only do these papers show the 
academic history of the University, but also its relations to the city of 
Philadelphia" and to the State of Pennsylvania.' The entire life history 
of this venerable institution is here faithfully told." 

The University during the last twelve years has bT'eu developed in 
the various lines according to Franklin's original ideas and has more 
perfeptly realized the large conceptions of its founder. It is interesting 
historically to observe the conformity of modern educational methods 
and plans to the plans and methods practiced or suggested ^y Franklin 
in the eighteenth century. He was generatif>ns ahead of his time. The 
University is conspicuously among the fruits of his labors, and I can 
not conclude this sketch of Franklin as an educator in a more fitting 
way than to give the history of the University of Pennsylvania, more 
particularly during the last decade, showing how the institution in its 
multitudinous development has conformed to the living wants of the 
times and has been, and is, the realization of the University idea. 

On the 22d of February, 1881, Dr. William Pepper was inaugurate<l 
Provost of the University. Dr. Pepper was born in Phihulelphia, 
August 21, 1843, the son of Dr. William Pepper, a distinguished physi- 
cian who held the chair of theory and practice of medicine in the Uni- 
versity from 1860 to 1864. He graduated in the Department of Arts 
in 1862 and in medicine in 1864. He entered at once upon the practice 
of his profession, in which he has achieved the highest distinction both 
as a practitioner and a teacher. In 1868 he became lecturer on morbid 
anatomy, lecturer on clinical medicine in 1870, professor of clinical med- 
icine in 1876, and professor of the theory and practice of medicine in 
1887. The creation of the University Hospital in 1872 was largely due 
to his energetic jKlvocacy, his untiring diligence, and his execntivo 
ability as chairman of the commission formed for that puriwse, and 
during the successful accomplishment of this great work these qualities 
became known to the men who were called upon to select a successor 
to Provost Stille. Occupied as he was with a very large practice, with 

■Chapter VIII. ^ Chapter IX. =» Chapter XII. ^Chapter XIX. 

s Chapter XVIII. ^ChapterVI. ^ChapterV. 

"The Historical Sketch of the Uuiversity by Mr. Stewart brings the history of the 
institution to the close of the administration of Provost Stille in 1880. (See chapter 


his duties as a clinical professor, and with contributions to medical lit- 
erature, his acceptance of the provostship was a serious matter; only- 
after the trustees had given him assurance of the earnestness of their 
support by changes in the statutes which materially added to the dig- 
nity and efficiency of the office did he consent to assume its responsi- 

The grand scheme of a University proposed by Franklin a hundred 
and thirty years before was only " a proposal for the education of youth 
in Pennsylvania,'' quite forgotten and feebly executed in some of its 
parts till the administration of Provost Pepper. 

Perhaps the phenomenal growth of the University since 1881 is attrib 
utable mainly to Dr. Pepper himself, whose mind and methods are re- 
markably like the mind and methods of Franklin himself. A mind sci- 
entific in its prescience, accurate in its application, with reserved powers 
seemingly inexhaustible, serene in difficulties ; boldly original and prac- 
tical in action ; with methods founded on a profound knowledge of hu- 
man nature ; possessing the confidence of the community and using that 
support as a powerful educational fulcrum ; himself foremost in gener- 
ous gifts to the University^ and inspiring a life in the institution which 
it had never known before. Dr. Pepper since the moment of his sue 
cession to the provostship has wrought a unification and an organiza- 
tion of the University which is the concrete expression and the academic 
proof of the profound sagacity of Benjamin Franklin's plans for a Uni- 

This vast work of unification and organization has progressed system 
atically, quietly, and efficiently. It has known but one end and aim, 
the total efficiency of the University. Vast sums of money have been 
collected and expended in buildings, faculties have been organized, 
special schools have been founded, and innumerable accessories, tribu- 
taries, and parts, related in various ways to the University organiza- 
tion now comprise a functional whole — the University. 

IVIuch of the brilliant success of Provost Pepper's administration has 
been due to the unfailing and cordial support of the trustees and of the 
professors in all departments. Especial recognition should be given to 
the earnest and successful labors of the deans of the various depart- 
ments. The office of dean has been promoted, at Dr. Pepper's especial 
request, to one of much greater dignity and authority than formerly. 

When it was found, in 1881, that in spite of the great influence of the 
late Mr. John Welsh, then Chairman of the Committee on AVays and 
Means, and of the activity of Provost Stille, the enlarged operations of 
the University, during the date of 1871 to 1881, had resulted in an ac- 
cumulated floating debt of (»ver $450,000, it required rare courage to 
decide upon the continuance of a progressive and liberal policy. The 
result has proved the wisdom of the decision. When, in 1886, Mr. 
Welsh died, Mr. Charles C. Harrison, who had been a member of the 
Board since 1876, was unanimously chosen to succeed him as Chairman 

franklin's ideas in education. 197 

of the Committee on Ways afid Means. Mr. Harrison is a gi-aduate of 
the college department (class of 1862), and from the time of his election 
as a trustee had manifested the strongest interest in the work and pros 
perity of the University, and had rendered effective service in several 
of vthe standing committees. In the higlily responsible position of 
Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means he lias lK*eu unspar- 
ing in time, thought, and labor, in guarding the financial interests of 
the institution, and in aiding to provide the resources for each of its 
progressive movements. His active interest and large social influen(;e 
have also had a far wider range. In nearly every enterprise, whether 
of education or beneficence, which has marked these years of activity, 
he has been a participant and an influential adviser. 

The formal statement of millions collected and spent, of professors 
^elected, of buildings erected, of courses newly arranged, of departments 
strengthened, or organization conducing to the welfare of the University 
perfected, fails to present the living power of the University to-day 
which characterizes its work and its service; since 1881 it has divided 
public attention with the three older colleges of the country. 

In 1884 the academic council was established, consisting of all the 
faculties, " which shall be convened by the Provost to consider ques- 
tions relative to the general interests of the University." 

The Faculty in Philosophy, organized in 1882, conducts postgraduate 
studies, and is composed out of the various departmental faculties, in 
the same year the Central Committee of the Alumni was created, to 
which is granted the power of nomination of trustees on occasion of 
every third vacancy. 

The ceaseless activity of Provost Pepper is suggested by the found- 
ing and equipment since 1881 of the following departments or scliools: 

(1 ) The Department of Finance and Economy' (The Wharton School), 

(2) The Department of Philosophy, (Graduate),* 1883. 

(3) The Department (School) of Veterinary Medicine,' 1882i 

(4) The Department (School) of Biology,* 1883. 

(5) The Department of Physical Education,* 1883. 

(6) The Department of Archieology and Palaeontology ,« 1889. 

(7) The Department (School) of Hygiene,' 1891. 

(8) The Department for Women (Graduate School),^ 1891. 

(9) The School of American History and Institutions,' 1891. 

(10) The School of Architecture,'" 1891. 

(11) The School for Nurses in the University Hospital," 188H. 

(12) The Veterinary Hospital,'^ 1883. 

(13) The Marine Laboratory at Sea Isle City,'^ 1891. 

Chapter XII. ^Chapttr XVII. 'Chapter XV. ^ Chapter XIII. 

» Chapter XVI. '• Chapter XX. ' Chapter XIX. 

« dhapter XXI. » Chapter XVIII. '" Chapter XXIII. 

' 1 Chapter XIV . Chapter XV. ' ' Chapter X III . 


(14) The Wistar lustitute of Anatomy and Biology, 1892; and the 
University Library building,^ and extensive collections in archaeology, 
and in special libraries, 1891. 

Of these departments, those numbered 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 14 have 
buildings erected since 1881, and costing in the aggregate, with tlieir 
respective material equipments, above $850,000. 

In addition to this departmental enlargement of the University dur- 
ing this time new courses have been created: 

(1) In the College Department, Courses in Natural History and in 

(2) In the Law School, courses in law, constituting a Postgraduatr 

(3) The course of the Medical School has been extended t-o four years, 
to take effect in 1893 — by action of the Board of Trustees, February 2,^ 
1892.'' This important action was secured by the personal effort of 
Provost Pepper, who personally contributed ^50,000 to the endowment 
fund needed for the sure establishment of the advanced curriculum. 

(4) The Dental courses have been extended to three years, by action 
of the Board of Trustees, January 7, 1890.^ 

(5) The course in the Law School has been extended to three years. 

All these organic changes have increased the efficiency of the Uni- 
versity, but that efficiency has been still further increased by the crea- 
tion of several cooperative associations composed partly of trustees and 
officers of the University and partly of other citizens. These associa- 
tions are: 

(1) The University Lecture Association, established in 1887, through 
which eminent lecturers are secured, often at large cost, and their lec- 
tures made accessible to the students, and, on payment of a small fee, 
to the general public. 

(2) The University Archaeological Association, established in 1889, 
whose membership is active in adding to the Museum of Arclueology 
specimens in the American, Babylonian, and Egyptian departments, 
and in promoting research and publications on the arclueology of these 
several fields. 

(3) The Board of Managers of the Veterinary Hospital, wliose fuiic 
tious are similar to those of the Board of the Medical Hospital. 

(4) The Board of Managers of the Graduate School for Women, organ- 
ized in 1890. 

(5) The admission of women into the Board of Managers of the Uni- 
versity Hospital in 1890. 

(G) The organization and associate administration of "The American 
Society for the Extension of University Teaching," of which Provost 
Pepper was the projector and first President in 1889, and which is 

' Chapter XXII. « Chapter XXIII. » Chapter IX. 

^ChaptcrVIII. "^Chiipter XI. 

franklin's ideas in education. 199 

chiefly supplied with lecturers from the University staflf for the very 
extensive work in which it is engaged. 

(7) Cooperation with other colleges in tlie establishment in 1887 ot 
the College Association of the Middle States and of Maryland, an asso- 
ciation which has had great influence in simplifying the work of higher 
education in these States. 

During the present administration the University has won distinc- 
tion through the work of members of its faculties and its associates, 
isuch as — 

(1). An extensive study of animal locomotion by means of instanta- 
neous pliotography, undertaken by a commission at an exi)en8e of 
$35,000, and resulting in the publication of some 700 large plates made 
by Mr. Eadweard Muybridge. 

, (2) The work and report of the Seybert Commission on spiritualism, 
published in 1887. 

(3) The organization and conduct by another commission at an ex- 
pense of $45,000 of an expedition to Babylon, securing an invaluable 
collection of inscriptions for the Museum, the editing of which is now 
in progress, and awaited with keen interest by students of Assyriology. 

(4) The support and regular publication of University periodicals, 
issued from the University of Pennsylvania Press, namely: The Uni- 
versity Medical Magazine, The Annals of Surgery, The Annals of Hy- 
giene, The Annals of Gynecology and Ptediatiy, The Wharton School 
Annals, The University of Pennsylvania Philosophical Series, The 
Series in Philology, Literature, Archaeology, Botany and Zoology. 

(5) The organization of the American Academy of Political and Social 
Science by University professors, which issues its "Annals" bimonthly. 
It is, however, independent of the University. 

(6) The Provost's reports, the publication of which was instituted by 
Provost Pepper in 1883, which give details of administnitive work, 
discussions of University policy, with treasurer's reports appended. 

(7) The introduction of seminaries in the Departments of Philosophy, 
Social Science, Economics, American Ilistory and Institutions, in Eng- 
lish Literature, Chemistry, etc. 

(8) The Institution of the University Chaplaincy, in 1891, by the ap- 
pointment, at the Provost's suggestion, of University chaplains, chosen 
fi'om clergymen of various denominations. One of the chaplains, the 
Rev. George Dana Boardman, ll. d., gave two winter courses of Sun- 
day afternoon addresses in the Chapel of the University: One on the 
Ten Commandments (1889), the other on the Minor Prophets (1890). 
The results of this religious work are eminently satisfatttory. 

(9) The organization of "the University of Pennsylvania Young 
Men's Christian Association" for the special advantage of college stu- 

Since 1881 more than 25 acres of land, in addition to that previously 


purchased in West Philadelpliia, have been acquired by the University 
as follows : ^ 

(1) A plot bounded by Woodland avenu^, Spruce street, Thirty-sixth 
street, Guardian avenue, and Woodland Cemetery. 

(2) A plot bounded by Woodland avenue, Spruce street. Thirty-sixth 
street, and city police station. 

(3) A plot bounded by South street, the connecting railroad, Marston 
street, and Thirty-fourth street. 

(4) The ground with buildings thereon at the southeast corner of 
Tliirty-fourth and South streets, as well as a plot of gnjund for the 
Marine Biological Laboratory at Sea Isle City, N. J. 

The buildings erected during Dr. Pepper's administration are:^ 

(I) The Gibson wing (of the University Hospital) for Chronic Dis- 
eases, 1883. 

(2) The Nurses' Home, 1888. 

(3) The Veterinary College, 1883. 

(4) The Veterinary Hospital, 1884. 

(5) The Biological School building, 1884. 
(C) The University Library building, 1891. 

(7) Two pavilions for Maternity Hospitals, 1888 and 1890. 

(8) The Mortuary Chapel, 1890. 

(9) The Marine Laboratory at Sea Isle City, 1891. 
(10) The Laboratory (school) of Hygiene, 1892. 

(II) The Hospital for Dogs and other small animals on the veterinary 
grounds,' 1892. 

(12) The Central Heat and Light Station, 1892. 

(13) The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 1892-'93. 

The gi'oiind boun<lf'd by Spruce street, Thirty-sixth street, Pino 
street, and Thirty-seventh street has been devoted to athletics, has 
been graded, laid out, and proper buildings erected; and a temporary 
restaurant building has been erected in the rear of College Hall. 

The increase in material e([uipment in the University during the last 
decade has effected the teaching force and the attendance of the Uni- 
versity; since 1881 both the number and professors and instructors 
and the number of students has doubled, reaching in 1893 the number 
of 247 professors and instructors, and of 2027 students.^ 

'See accompanying plan of the University grounds. 
•See illustrations of these buildings. 

^A table is appended showing teaching force and number of students by decades, 
beginning in 1831 and ending with 1892-'93. 



I'rofesHon and inittructoraJ 


Decade ending — 




Dentistry. .Veterinjurjr. 













::::::: i ■::": 










36 21 





















1892 J 

92 1 8 


'Including 92 post-graduate students in residence. 

The aggregate value of the grounds and buildings u.sed by the 
University and belonging to it, exclusive of other realty, is about 
$2,500,000; and the approximate value of the material equipment of 
the various departments, including libraries, museums, apparatus, etc., 
is about $600,000, making a total of $3,100,000. The vested, funds of 
the University amount to $1,000,000, making a grand total of $4,700,000. 

The benefactions since 1881 to the University and its hospitals have 
amounted to $2,500,000. 

The greater part of this total estate has been obtained since 1881. 

The whole history of the University now culminating in the record 
of one hundred and fifty years is the conservative but living response 
to the large plan of its founder. 

The lofty title of University was first used in this countiy when in 
1779 it was conferred upon this institution by the legislature of Penn- 
.sylvania. It may now be further claimed that the exi)erience of the 
University of Pennsylvania culminates in the establishment of the fact, 
of so much importance to our American civilization, that oilr great cities 
afford peculiar advantages for the development of universities of the 
most comprehensive type. There is no doubt that the institutions are 
now, as never before, potent influences in conducing to wholesome mu- 
nicipal life. They are centers of learning, of practical skill, and of an 
ever-brojidening culture among the people, and the response to their 
wants is evident from the splendid progress they are making with the 
aid of private munificence, nor is there doubt that these institutions 
have scarcely more than passed the threshold of their strength and 

'For the attendance, countries represented, etc., 1740-1891, see the sUtistical 



University of rennHijlva)tia : Table shmcing atteiidame from 1740 to 1892, inclusive. 
[Number of countries and States, 113; totals, C(i,747.] 

State or country. 





















■ T 



Alabama and Mississippi . 







































• 319 





























:::::: -:-:::i 



Coloratlo, ^Nevada, and 


iJakotii, Moiitaua, Idaho, 












^ 87 




























Distrirtof Columbia(U. S. 





Iowa, Kansas, and Ne- 




























Loijisiaua, Texas, and In- 






Micfcigau, Minnesota, and 









2, 7tJ2 


Xorth Carolina and South 

- . 

3. 134 

Ohio, Indiana, and Illi- 
















29. .'>54 

Virpiiiia and West Vir- 



Ar^entine Kepublic and 




Australia and Pacific is- 
lands (/) 






1 _^ 






lirit ish Islos {g) 






































Mexico (3/i) . . .J... ' ... 



Norway, Sweden, andDen- | 





SvHa • 











, 6 



We«t Indies (i>) 


1 1 






Attendance in charity 
schools 1740-1876 




66. 747 


(a) Including Cherokee Nation (6). 

(6) Including western country. '• _ " 

(1:) IncliidiiiK Maine, Kew Hampshire, Vermont, MassacliiiKetts, ConnccHcTit, and Rhode Island. 

(d) Including Lil)eria. 

(e) Including IJucnos Ayres. 

(/) Including New Zralaud and Sandwich Islands. 
((/) Including England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 

(h) Including Canada, Nova Scotia, New Urunswick, and Prime Kdwanl I^lamls. 
(i) Including Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Co.sta Kica. 
{*) Including Wurfcmberg, Prussia. 
(TO) Including Cohiua. 

(»i) lucluding New Grenada and South America. 

(p) Including Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbadoes, Cuba, Nevis Islands, Puerto Eico, and Haiti. 
These notes mean that in the catalogues, besides the names in this list, there are also the namas 
used as given in these notes. 

franklin's ideas in education. 203 

Notes. — Tlio number 66,747 means year's courses, and not necessarily 
individuals in attendance. Owing to the varying lengths of courses of 
study at times during the history of the University, two, three, four, five 
years, it is difficult, if not inii>ossible, to determine from the records the 
exact number of individuals who have attended the University from 
1 740 to 1892. As equipment had to be made during that time for the 
whole number of students in attendance, wliether th»^y remained for 
entire or for partial courses, the number above, 66,747, represents pra<;- 
t ically the attendance upon the University. The charity sch(K»ls, out of 
which the University grew, as shown in the chapters on Franklin by 
tl»e editor, and by the i)apers by Judgt^ Peiuiypacker and Mr. Stewart, 
were organized in 1740 and ceased in 1876. From the catalogues extant, 
from scattering records, and from conservative estimates the attendance 
ill them is stated to be 15,182. Tliis attendance was chiefly from Penn- 
sylvania. The catalogues of the'college department before 1806 are in- 
complete and the attendance in the college during that period is the 
number of the alumni for the period and is, therefore, about one-half 
of the actual attendance. It is believed, therefore, that the final total 
above, 66,747, falls considerably below the real figure were the data 
accurately known. — Editor. 

Chapter III. 

The organization of the University of Pennsylvania has proved itself 
capable of assimilation and development. Its early form was deter- 
mined by controversies between the State and the college of 17")."), which 
are described fully elsewhere. From this struggle, whicli lastetl from 
1779 to 1791, the University emerged with a cliarter and organization 
bearing traces of political and religious concessions. The governor of 
the Commonwealth becomes by virtue of his office a member and Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees. This board consists of twenty-four 
members, in addition to the governor for the time being; they consti- 
tute " a corporation and body politick, in law and in fact," with power 
of continuance by filling vacancies in their number. The spoliative 
act of Assembly of 1779 sought to enforce religious equality in the 
board by providing that the senior ministers of the Episcopal, Presby- 
terian, Baptist, Lutheran, German Calvinist and Roman chiu'ches in 
the city of Philadelphia should be members. Although this provision 
is not explicitly embodied in the act of 1791, which is the final act of 
fimdamental legislation affecting the grant of rights to the University, 
it may be asserted that careful regard has always been ha<l for its 
spirit and intention. At the present time, the board contains repre- 
sentatives of the following religious bodies, named in alphabetical 
order: Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Quakers, 
Koman Catholics, and Unitarians. It is needless to enlarge upon the 
further simple statement that denominational considerations have no 
influence in the policy of the University or in the selection of its officers 
of instruction. 

It is partly due to the location of the University in a large city with 
abounding opportunities for religious worship, and partly to the ab- 
sence of any predominant denominational influence, that the official 
religious activity of the University has hitherto been limited to an 
obligatory daily chapel service for the College Department only, and 
an annual baccalaureate sermon to its graduating classes. In 1888 it 
was provided that graduates of the University who should after gradua 
tion have pursued an approved course of study in a theological sem- 
inary might receive the degree of bachelor of divinity. At the com- 
mencement in 1891 this degree was conferred on three such candidates. 



It is impossible to avoid an expression of the hope that ere h)ng funds 
will be available to realize the cherished plan of a Department of 
Theology organized upon the higliest plane of scliolarship and efficiency 
with a University church upon the grounds, and a corps of University 
chaplains serving in rotation.' 

The principle of government of the University is by committees 
whose reports and recommendations are submitted to the full Board of 
Trustees. As each successive department has been grafted on the 
central body, a standing committee has been created to exercise super- 
vision over, and to promote the development of the new work. 

At the present time the number of these standing committees is as 
follows : 

(1) On the School of Arts. # 

(2) On the Towne Scientific School. 

(3) On the School of Biology. 

(4) On the Wharton School of Finance and Economy. 

(5) On the School of American Institutions and History. 

The above in connection with certain additional courses, such as that 
in architecture, constitute the College Department. These committees 
often meet in joint session. 

(6) On the Department of Medicine and on the Auxiliary Depart- 
ment of Medicine. 

(7) On the University Hospital. 

(8) On the Department of Law. 

(9) On the Department of Dentistry. 

(10) On the Department of Veterinary Medicine. 

(11) On the Department of Physical Education. 

(12) On the Graduate Department for Women. 

(13) On the Department of Hygiene. 

(14) On the Laboratory of Marine Zoology. 

(15) On the Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology. 
(10) On the University Library, 

In addition to these, there are the two great business committees of 
the board. 

(17) On Buildings, Estates, and Property, and 

(18) On Ways and Means. 

All of these standing committees, with the exception of the last one, 
are appointed annually by the Provost at the January meeting of the 
board. The Committee on Ways and Means is elected by ballot. at the 
same meeting. 

The large size of the board renders it possible to secure the repre- 
sentation of each leading department by one or more men with special 
knowledge of and active interest in its afifairs. This mode of govem- 

'I am happy to be able to announce that oil January 1, 1892, a staff of University 
Chaplains, five in number, entered upon their official duties, Avhich consist in serv- 
ing in rotation in the conduct of chapel service and in daily attendance at the Col- 
lege Department for consultation with the students. 


raent seems einineutly adapted to its purposes. The committees are of 
convenient size. All questions referred can he considered deliberately 
and thoroughly; if necessary, repeated meetings may be held; the ad 
vice or the presence of members of the faculties or of outside experts 
maybe secured; so that the reports made to the Board of Trustees 
habitually represent the final and united judgment of competent au- 
thorities, and such their consideration by the board, though frank and 
free, usually results in adoption, or at least, in recommittal for further 
study by unanimous consent. An acrimonious del)ate or the decision 
of any important question by a close vote is unknown. It would be 
accepted as proof that the subject needed further careful and impartial 
consideration in committee. 

The above list of the committees indicates the large and ever widen- 
ing scope of the work undertaken by the University. It suggests also 
the large responsibilities assumed by the board. 

Doubtless there was a time when the position of trustee of the 
University was simply an honorable sinecure- but of late years the 
quickened intellectual life of the community, the increasingly numerous 
and varied demands upon our great institutions of learning and the 
closer competition between these latter, have been exacting more and 
more close attention to the educational and financial interests of the 
University. Not only friMn this aspect is it advantageous to have 
our* great educational institutions in large cities. The members of the 
governing body are able to bestow much more close and constant care 
than would otherwise be possible. Moreover, under such conditions the 
services of the highest talent can always be secured in the faculties of 
the various professional schools, since one can practice his i)rofession 
actively wliile holding a professorship. It is unnecessary to dwell uiK>n 
the many conspicuous examples furnished by all of these schools in our 
University. Further, an opportunity is afforded to associate in various 
fields of university work many able men and women who are not 
members either of the board or of the faculties. It is impossible to 
overestimate the value of the reinforcement that may thus be secnred. 
The vigorous and elastic organization of the University presents many 
good illustrations of this principle. For example, the gratifying pros 
perity of the University Hospital is chiefly due to the fact that from its 
inception the management has lieen Qntruste<l to a separate board, con- 
taining only a minority of trustees, while the majority comprise repre- 
sentatives of the medical faculty, of the contributors, and of the Board 
-of Women Visitors. It seems clear that if the establishment and 
management of this important branch of the University work had 
devolved exclusively on the Board of Trustees it would have been an 
onerous addition to their large responsibilities. 

No less marked has been the success following a similar method of 
organization for the Museums of Archfeology and Pahneontology. An 
association with numerous membership has been formed; and the board 


of managers, the council, and the executive committees in charge of 
the Assyrian, the Egyptian, the Oriental, and the American fields of 
research and collection, comprise representatives of the trustees, of the 
faculties, and of the association. No departmenthas shownmore gratify- 
ing vigor and growth than this. 

These allusions indicate sufficiently the relations which the Uni- 
versity maintains with the community. The conception which has 
been formed is that it should be the center of the literary and scientific 
activity of the city and, as far as possible, of the State; that it should 
provide ample fireproof accommodation not only for extensive libraries, 
but for scientific and artistic collections ; that these should not only be 
available to the students of the University but to all scholars and 
investigators; and, finally, that endowments must be accumulated for the 
support of such scholars of distinction and for the publication of the 
original papers produced by them and by members of the faculties. 

From the first it was distinctly contemplated by Franklin and the 
sagacious men associated with him in the foundation of the University 
that its instruction should be specifically arranged in courses with a 
view to the subsequent avocations of the students. Unhappily lost 
sight of at various periods, this has been, on the whole, a leading 
principle in the development of the University of Pennsylvania. Not 
until recently, however, has it beeu possii^le to embody it upon an 
adequate scale. When the late John Henry Towne bequeathed a Itirge 
sum — the largest amount given in this country by any individual to an 
educational institution up to that date (1875) — it was used as the basis 
of a Scientific School, to be developed in connection with the original 
Department of Arts. This opened elective courses, occupying the last 
two years of the college curriculum, in chemistry, mining, civil and 
mechanical engineering, etc. The interesting experiment was for some 
years tried of conducting scientific courses ui)on these branches from 
the university instead of from the technological standpoint, but expe- 
rience has demonstrated that this is a distinction with too serious a 
difference, and that to be effective as academic curricula or as a prep- 
aration for professional careers it is better that these courses should be 
equipped and conducted in a strictly and completely technical sense. 
The recent changes in the Towne Scientific School have all been in this 
direction, and have been attended with obviously good results. Especial 
importance has attached to the work of the School of Biology, and of 
the Wharton School of Finance and Economy, which are two of the most 
original and successful amendments to the College course introduced 
at the University. At the present time the instruction in the College 
Department has reached an advanced stage of the elective group 
system. The student may pursue for four years a course upon the 
same lines as the old classical curriculum, although the introduction of 
'mproved methods has modified the spirit and results greatly for the 
better, or he may elect out of a great number of possible variations; 


for instance, special groups of studies in chemistry, in enginexTing— 
civil, mecbanical, mining, or electrical,— in natural history, in hygiene, 
in architecture, iu history, in finance, administration, sociology, or law, 
or in branches preparatory to the study of medicine. The combination 
of a fully developed system of undergraduate instruction presenting a 
rich choice of parallel groups of studies, with a full series of professional 
schools offering themselves as a natural continuation of such lines of 
college work, has been the most familiar conception of a university in 
America. To this must be added the more recent school of nonpro- 
fessional po'Stgraduate studies which are appropriately enough classed 
under the faculty of philosophy. It is but an arbitrary line which divides 
these courses leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from what 
are commonly regarded as professional courses, since in a majority of 
cases, the former are pursued as a preparation for the profession of 
teaching, or of letters, or of journalism. No good reason appears why, 
at least in the case of the first of these, the entrance should not be 
guarded by the exaction of a suitable professional degree. A glance at 
our faculty of philosophy and our list of professional schools will show 
how extensive, and yet how symmetrical has been the development of 
the University in this direction. 

The School of Medit^ine was opened in 1765 by Dr. John Morgan, 
that of Law in 1701 by Justice James Wilson, and each was the first 
upon that special subject in America. As each successive s<^hool has 
been added, that of Dentistry, of Veterinary Medicine, of Finance 
and Economy, of Biology, of Hygiene, of American Institutions and 
History, it has either been the first fully organized Department of the 
kind established in connection with an AmericanUniversity, or it has 
quickly taken the first place as regards equipment and organization. 

Reference is made with conscious and justifiable pride to the record 
of each of these schools as presented in the chapters devoted respect- 
ively to them. 

An undoubted danger exists in the case of universities seated in 
large cities from the very facility with which new and tempting sub- 
jects of advanced study are ingraft^id, new fields of scientific explora- 
tion and collection entered upon, even new departments countenanced 
or commenced, in dependence upon the enthusiasm, possibly temporary, 
of a few experts and in aflvance of the reception by the trustees of en- 
dowment funds adequate to permanent maintenance. There is a fasci- 
nation about new subjects which tempts to a diversion of attention 
and energy. So that in spite of the well deserved prominence now 
accorded to graduate courses whether strictly professional or not, it 
must be held strictly in view that in our American system the rank of 
a university will for a long time to come be determined largely by 
the quality and quantity of its undergraduate work. 

It is a source of constant gratification to the friends of the University 
of Pennsylvania that such extensive and thorough work is done iu the 
1180 U 


college despite the limited amount of endowment yet acquired for that 
department. This result is of course chiefly due to the faithful and 
devoted labors of the college faculty. No educational institution can 
thrive unless the standard set for the faculties is a very high one, not 
only as regards jjersonal character and attainments, but as regards 
actual teaching power and active personal interest in the success of 
their respective departments and in the progress of the individual 
student. It has always been the policy of the University to entrust to 
each faculty, and to the college faculty fully as much as to any other, 
a large share of .authority and responsibility in dealing with all ques- 
tions pertaining to its department. Indeed, formerly the Medical and 
Law Schools were in large measure independent institutions. But 
of recent years important organic changes have been made which have 
resulted in unifying the entire University, the administration of which 
is now simple and uniform. 

Allusion has been made to the standing committees of the trustees 
upon each department. The connection between these committees and 
the faculties is effected by the deans and the provost. The dignity and 
influence of the ofl&ce of dean have been enhanced. Formerly there 
were marked differences between the various faculties in this respect; 
but recently the office has been made one of trustee appointment, so 
that the deans are associated with the provost as official channels of 
communication between the trustees and the faculties. The advantage 
or this seems obvious. The most accurate and impartial man in the 
office of provost may well have his judgment warped or his information 
upon some point or other incomplete, and this danger is greatly lessened 
by having the benefit of the deans' presence at the committee meetings 
where i)rol^ssional appointments and important questions of policy or 
expenditure are under discussion. 

The general supervision of the buildings of each department, as well 
as the appointment and direction of all employes, devolve upon the re- 
spective deans. In the absence of the provost they preside at faculty 
meetings. They are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the effi- 
ciency of each professor's work, and to report thereupon to the provost 
as often as may be desirable. All questions of discipline come under 
the direct jurisdiction of the dean. He is aided by an executive com- 
mittee of the faculty, and in all grave cases the advice of the i)rovost 
must be sought, and his decision is practically final. It speaks elo- 
quently for the good moral tone of the entire body of students that of 
'late years serious questions of discipline have been of extreme and 
steadily increasing rarity. 

It will be readily gathered from the previous description of the or- 
ganization of the University that the duties of the i)rovost of the Uni 
versity of Pennsylvania differ widely from those wliich pertained to the 
traditional president of an American college. Originally he \viis in 
effect the dean of the College Department, with the added duty of pre- 


siding at commencements and of conferring all degrees, ilc did not 
even attend the meetings of the Board of Trustees nor of its connnitteeu. 

During l)r. Still6's tenure of office the provost became a regular at- 
tendant at the board meetings and was made the president and jiresiding 
officer of all faculties. 

These important steps were followed by still more considerable modi- 
fications in 1880, when, on the election of the present incumbent to the 
position of provost, extensive changes were made in the statutes of the 
University. It has already been stated that tlie (xovernor of the Com- 
monwealth is ex officio the president of the Board of Trustees; but in 
fact the absorbing nature of his other official duties ha-s for many years 
made it impossible for any governor even to take his seat at a meeting 
of the tiustees. - The provost was in 1880 made the president pro tern. 
of the board, with the duty of presiding at all of its meetings and of ap- 
pointing all committees with exception of that on Ways and Means, 
which is elected. 

The title of jwrovost was after mature consideration retained on a<'.- 
count of its historical value and traditional significance. No other 
instance occurs to us of the use of this title in academic circles in 

This officer has thus become the <;hief executive of the institution. 
His relations with the trustees in the transaction of all business, his 
position in every one of the numerous faculties and in all of the 
izations which owe their existence to the tnistees, make it manifestly 
impossible that he should act as an expert upon all the educational 
(juestions which arise, or should attend to the working details of all the 
departments. He must act as the representative of the entire Uni- 
versity in its relations with the community, and nnist explain and ad- 
vocate the \aiious educational movements initiated. 

Standing between the trustees and the faculties he must in a pe- 
culiar sense, and despite the vast importance of the committees of the 
board and of the newly developed deanships, possess the confidence of 
the board, the faculties, and the alumni as a fair and imi)artial admin- 
istrator whose sole object is the welfare of the institution over which 
he is called to preside. 

The relations of the University to the State are highly interesting. 
A careful consideration of the chapter upon this subject in the present 
volume is especially recommended. It is to be hoiwd that the ancient 
historical basis for a cordial and intimate connection between them, 
the series of liberal enactments by the legislature in behalf of the Uni- 
versity, the scrupulous good faith always shown by the latter in the 
discharge of every obligation connected with these benefoctions, will 
lead to still more close relations, sinc6 sflch will surely be mutually 

The cordial support of the alumni is indeed an indispensable condi- 
tion of complete success for the administration of any American uui- 


versity. The Board of Trustees has, as is already manifest, acted with 
great wisdom in voluntarily enacting the necessary statutes to create 
a central committee of the alumni of all departments and to give to 
this body the i)Ower to fill every third vacancy in the tnistees by pre- 
senting nominations from which the board elects. The large share in 
the actual administration thus secured; the further right of the central 
committee of alumni to appoint special committees to examine and 
submit reports on the operation of each department, which reports are 
forwarded to the tnistees, and finally the creation of the athletic asso- 
ciation, largely under the control of the alumni, which has charge of 
this important branch of the students' interests, have aroused a deep 
and active interest among the alumni in all i)arts which is already 
producing a happy influence upon the progress and prosperity of the 

Among the interesting questions which present themselves to every 
college, and especially to each one seated in a large city, is that of the 
educational facilities which it should extend to youijg women. The 
policy of the University of Pennsylvania in regard to this question is 
quite definite. It is held to be unwise at present to open the under- 
graduate classes to the admission of girls as full students and candi- 
dates for the B. A. degree. It is unnecessary to enter into a fiill 
discussion of the potent reasons which support this view. At the 
same time there have been for fifteen years certain classes and certain 
laboratory work open to girls as special students, and the income of ;i 
special trust fund has, in accordance with the terms of the gift, been 
expended to aid such female students as were preparing to be teach 
ers. In 1890 a highly important step was taken by the acceptance of 
a valuable property immediately adjoining the University grounds as 
a hall of residence for women students, and by the adoption of a report 
providing for a graduate department for women. 

In May, 1892, this department was opened formally with appro])riate, 
ceremonies. Eight fellowships were offered for the year 1892-'93. It 
is hoped that the establishment of this department which will open 
to women all the courses of advanced study in the faculty of philos- 
ophy with the opportunity of ac(iuiring the highest academic degree 
(Doctor of Philosophy) will be found to solve the important problem of 
providing University teaching for women and thus to prove a most 
valuable advance in educational methods. 

The original design of the University of Pennsylvania was that it 
should be the center of the higher educational system of the State, with 
a series of colleges established at various points, all of which should 
maintain an organic connection with the University. Political dissen 
sions and the lack of a vigorous policy on the part of the University 
soon rendered it highly improbable that this Avould ever be fully real- 
ized. But it remains true that, owing to tlie official i)osition of the 
Governor as the president of the University, and owing to the numer- 


ous weighty obligations assumed and regularly discharged by the Uni- 
versity, this corporation should be regarded as in strict sense a State 
institution and should be entitled to corresponding treatment by suc- 
cessive legislatures. 

The relations of the University to the City of Phihulelphia are pecu- 
liarly interesting, owing to tlie arrangement effected in 1882, by which iu 
return for a tract of ground of but little value to the city, but absolutely 
essential to the future develoi)mcnt of the University, 50 prize scholar 
ships were established in perpetuity to be awarded tt) students of the 
public schools of Philadelphia. This arrangement is working most 
happily. The award is made on the reasonably fair basis of the gradua 
tion averages of students from the Central High School and the (Central 
Manual Training School, so that these valuable prizes actually serve as 
powerful stimuli to the entire body of scholars in all grades of the pub- 
lic schools of the city. Important obUgations to the city as well as to 
the State have also been assumed at various times by the University 
Hospital. The University has covenanted to maintain a free library 
of reference open to the public. By far the larger portion of the 42 
acres owned by the University is held under conditions which forbid its 
mortgage or sale. The new Department of Hygiene will be the natural 
(center of all work connected with the sanitary interests of the city. 

It is true that in accordance with legislative enactments the edu- 
cational buildings of the University, and such of its grounds as are 
actually used for educational purposes, are exempt from taxation. It 
is probable, however, that in the future the value of the public services 
rendered by the Unwersity, and the heavy charges imposed by them 
upon funds which are wholly devoted to maintaining a high standard 
of education for the benefit of the community, will lead an appreciative 
city and State to make annual appropriations to the University as an 
equivalent. It is also not impossible that with the growth of the Uni- 
versity property and i)oi)ulation in West Philadelphia there will be 
elected to the city councils and the State legislature direct representa- 
tives of this important constituency. 

The future greatness of the University of Pennsylvania was deter- 
mined when the additional extensive tracts of ground were secured in 
1872 for the hospital, and in 1882, 1888, and 1881) for the general pur- 
poses of the institution. The one barrier to its complete development 
was then removed. Let no university seated in a large city imagine it 
can succeed supremely without ample space. The acquisition of this 
territory has enabled us to develoi) such departments as the library, 
the museums, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Biology, 
the Laboratory of Hygiene, the Wistar Institute of Anatomy, and to 
reserve ground for others whose development is now only a question 
of time. It will enable us to accept, and our ability to accept will often 
determine the direction of such gifts, important trusts which involve 
the erection of separate buildings, so that the foundation shall be largely 


an independent one, bearing the memorial name designated by the do- 
nors. It will enable us to provide dormitory buildings which will se- 
cure absolutely good sanitary conditions and the proper amount of 
supervision for students in residence. 

It has permitted jthe erection of a great ceiitrjtl station to provide all 
the university buildings with heat and electric lighting and forced ven- 
tilation and to serve at the same time as a model school of mechanical 
and electrical engineering. 

It has permitted us to place at the disposal of the athletic associa- 
tion the use of a fine large field, and to assign a good site for a com- 
plete gymnasium. 

Finally, it affords the opportunity for the alumni to construct on the 
grounds of the University a splendid memorial hall where in all future 
time the ceremonial functions of the University may occur, and where 
the swelling ranks of the alumni will muster year after year to attest 
■"heir loving devotion to alma mater whose grand gjowtli in power and 
prosperity and influence so largely depends upon their loyal support. 

Chapter IV. 


By the middle of the eighteenth century the Province of Pennsylva- 
nia had reached a point in its development where it was necessary to 
consider what was to be done to secure a pervading and sustained in- 
tellectual activity within its borders. The men of that day and age had 
the practical conviction that progress does not consist in material pros- 
perity but in spiritual advancement. Education had not been over- 
looked in the policy of Penn. In his Frame of Government we read: 

* * * The governor aiul provincial council shall erect and order all public 
schools, and encourage and reward the authors of usefal sciences and laudable in- 
ventions in the said province. » » * And * * * a committee of manners, 
education and arts, that all wicked and scandalous living may be prevented, and 
that youth may be successively trained up in virtue and useful knowledge and arta. 

The first movement to establish an educational institution of a high 
grade was iu the action of the Executive Council which proposed, 
November 17, 1683, "That Care be Taken about the Learning and In- 
struction of Youth, to wit: A Scool of Arts and Sciences." It was not 
until 1689, however, that the "imblic Grammar School" was set up in 
Philadelphia. This institution, founded upon the English idea of a 
"free school," was formally chartered in 1697 as the "William Penn 
Charter School." It was intended as the head of a system of sc-hools 
for all, rather than a single school for a select few, an idea whi<'h the 
founders of the Charitable School, fifty years later, had also in mind — 
an idea which was never carried out in the history of either institution. 

The failure of Penn's scheme of government, and the tnrmoil dur- 
ing the early part of the eighteenth century arising from the con- 
flicts between ditterent political parties, for a time influenced very de- 
cidedly educational zeal in the province. The government, which at 
the outset had taken isuch high ground on the subject, ceased to ex- 
ert itself in behalf of education, and the several religious denomina- 
tions and the people themselves in neighborhood organizations took up 
the burden and planted schools as best they could throughout the gi'ow- 
ing colony. As a result of this movement we find that in Philadelphia, 
in 1740, a charity school was established by a number of public-spirited 
citizens for the instruction of poor children gratis in useful literature 

' For history of 1881-1892 see pp. 195-203. 



and the Christian religion. This may be said to be the beginning of the 
University of Pennsylvania ; nine years later this foundation was used 
for the organization of the Academy. But so far no institution existed 
in the province for the promotion of higher education. Feeling the im- 
portance for some provision to supplement the education then given in 
the established schools, Benjamin Franklin as early as 1743 drew up a 
proposal for establishing an academy and endeavored to secure the assist- 
ance of the Rev. Richard Peters and other prominent citizenvS for that 
purpose. But Mr. Peters was not then in a position to give the neces- 
sary cooperation, and, owing to the disturbed condition of affairs in the 
province and colonies generally, the matter was left in abeyance. In 
1749, at the conclusion of peace, Franklin again turned his thoughts to 
the affair. He secured the assistance of a number of friends,^ many of 
them members of the famous Junto," and then published his pamphlet 
entitled ''Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsyl- 
vania." The pamphlet aroused considerable interest, and the plan as 
outlined commended itself to a large number of practical men from the 
fact that Franklin subordinated classical to English studies. He 
thought "the time spent in that study (Latin and Greek) might be much 
better employed in the education for such a country as ours." The 
opinion of most of the original trustees. 

On all sides the paper met m itli great favor and generous support. 
The result was tlie organization of a board of trustees, consisting of 
24 of those who had subscribed to the scheme of the Academy, with 
Franklin as i)resident. This body immediately set about to realize the 
object of the pamphlet, and nourished' by subscriptions, lotteries, and 
gifts the Academy was placed in a flourishing condition. The members 
of the board raised among themselves £2,000, and this sum was after- 
wards considerably increased by other similar subscriptions. Applica- 
tion was made to the Common Council of the city of Philadelphia for 
aid, and the following, from a paper drawn up and inesented to this 
body by Franklin, 1749, sets forth the broad and generous objects had 
in view, and the benefits expected from the institution : 

1. That the youth of Pennsylvania may have an opportunity of receiving a good 
education at horn*;, and be under no necessity of going abroad for it, whereby not 
only considerable expense may be saved to the country, but a stricter eye may be 
had over their morals by their friends and relations. 

2. That a number of our natives will hereby be qualified to bear magistracies, and 
execute other public offices of trust, with reputation to themselves and country, 
there being at present a great want of persons so qualified in the several counties of 
this province; aud this is the more necessary now to be provided for by the English 
^>ere, as vast numbers of foreigners are yearly imported among us, totally ignorant 
of our laws, customs, and language. 

3. That a number of the poorer sort will hereby be qualified to act as schoolmas- 
ters in the country, to teach children reading, writing, arithmetic, and the grammar 
of their mother tongue, and being of good morals and known character, may be rec- 

' Especially Tench Francis, Thomas Hopkinson, and Mr. Peters. 


ommended from the Academy to countrj' schools for that purpose — the country Huf- 
fering very much at present for want of good Hchoohuasters, and obliged frequently 
to employ in their schools vicious imported servants or conoealetl Papists, who by 
their bad examples and instructions often deprave the morals or corrupt the princi- 
ples of the children under their care. 

4. It is thought that a good Academy erected here in Philadelphia, a healthy 
place, where provisions are plenty, situated in the center of the colonies, may draw 
numbers of students from the neighboring provinces, who must spend considerable 
sums among us yearly in payment for their lodging, diet, apparel, et«-., which will 
be an advantage to our traders, artisans, and owners of houses and lands. 

In answer to this petition the Common Conncil agreed to give £200 
in cash, and £50 per annum for five years, and £50 additional for the 
right of sending one scliolar eaeli year from the Charity SchfMil to the 
Academy. The Charity School occupied the old building which stand-s 
in from Fourth street near Arch, known in those days a.s the New 
Building. This building had been erected as a pla<te of worship for 
the celebrated Whitefield, who had been excluded from the churches of 
Philadelphia, and for the use of other ministers similarly excluded. 
Almost every religious denomination had been concerned in its erec- 
tion, and Franklin and Whitefield were among its trustees, who 
were selected from difi'erent sects. When the enthusiasm for White- 
field subsided the trustees found themselves -heavily in debt. The lot 
had been purchased on ground-rent and money had been borrowed to 
finish the building. The trustees of the newly established Academy 
made overtures to the trustees of the new building, and mainly 
through the efforts of Franklin, who was a member of both boards, 
they were able to make arrangements'for a conditional transfer. The 
negotiations closed with the conveyance of the building to the Acad- 
emy authorities in December, 1749, on condition that the debt, amoant- 
ing to nearly £800, should be paid, a charity school maintained, and 
a large hall for occasional preachers, to be kept open, forever, accord- 
ing to the original intention. These conditions have been complied 
with; and until 1877 a charity school was maintained and a room 
kei)t in the old Academy building for the convenience of itinerant 
preachers and new congregations. Owing to alterations which had to 
be made the building was not ready for occupancy immediately, and 
it was not until January 7, 1751, that the Academy was formally opened 
in its new quarters by a sermon i)reached by the Rev. Richai-d Peters. 

The Academy comprised three schools, the Latin, the English, and 
the mathematical, over each of which was placed a master, one of whom 
was the rector of the institution. The first recter \fd8 David Martin, 
who died very shortly after his appointment. He was succeeded by 
Dr. Francis Allison as master of the Latin School and rector, a p/>si- 
tion which he held for nearly a quarter of a century. The English 
School was neglected. The other schools were favored, especially the 
Latin School. In the eyes of Franklin and many of the supiwrters 
of the Academy, the English School was the one of chief import- 


ance. AVliat we would call a,'' starving out" process was begun by 
which the English School was kept in a weak condition, most of the 
funds going to the Latin SchooL Seeing that there was a persistent 
eflfort making to decry the English School as useless and that the orig- 
inal constitutions of the Academy had not been complied with, Frank- 
lin protested a few months before his death in a pamphlet entitled 
"Observations Relative to the Intentions of the Original Founders of 
the Academy in Philadelphia." But by 1790 the English School was 
dragging out a weary existence and Franklin's protest was of no avail. 
One thing is plain, and that is that Franklin and the friends of the 
English School had a clearer idea of the nature of the education which 
the conditions of America required than had those of the trustees who 
had done all in their power to increase the importance of the Latin 
School at the expense of the other schools of tl>e Academy. The ob- 
servations put forward in Franklin's pamphlet do not far differ in tone 
and emphasis from the arguments which have been urged against the 
old scholastic system of education. 

The success of the Academy was so gratifying to all interested in it 
that it was determined to apply for a charter. This was granted to the 
trustees by Thomas and Richard Penn, the proprietors, on July 13, 1753. 
Desirous at the same time of enlarging the course of instruction, the 
trustees elected Mr. William Smith teacher of logic, rhetoric, natural 
and moral jjliilosophy. Mr. Smith accepted the position and entered 
upon his duties at the Academy in May, 1754. The history of the in- 
stitution from this date, whether known as the Academy or the College, 
to 1779 is the history of the life of William Smith. Nothing like jus- 
tice has been done to the work of that man during the quarter of a 
century he was connected with the College of Philadelphia. The change 
wrought in the Academy from the time he became connected with it 
was indeed very great. To the three schools another, the Philosophical, 
was added in which ethics, natural philosophy, and rhetoric were taught 
to advanced pupils by Mr. Smith. This form of organization was pre- 
served for many years, in fact until the College was merged into the 
University. In the Philosopliy School there was for some years a 
senior and a junior class. Some years before the Revolution mention is 
made of a freshman class, into which pupils from the Latin School, 
after due examination, were admitted. The course of instruction at 
this time was equal in extent to, if, in some instances, not more advanced 
than that usually pursued in the highest seminaries, so that there was 
every reason for believing that since the Academy had been placed upon 
a collegiate basis it should have all the honors and privileges which 
belong to a college corporation. Realizing the importance of such a 
step, Mr. Smith and Dr. Allison suggested to the Board of Trustees 
the proprietj' of applying to the provincial government for an additional 
charter, changing the title of the corporation to that of "The Trus- 
tees of the College, Academy^ and Charitable School of Philadelphia," 


and paving- it power <'to confer'' degrees in arts, (^ii May 14, 1755, 
Governor Morris gianted to the (corporation a new charter c^ntinning 
tlie firstcliarter and giving- powers for instituting a college or "seminary 
of universal learning," with the customary i)rivilege of conferring de- 

Tlie Charitable School was connected with the College and the 
Academy in no other way than that it was under the authority of the 
same Board of Trustees. The College and the Academy were much less 
distinct. The College had arisen out of the Philosophy School of the 
Academy; both were under the same Board of Trustees and both were 
managed by the same faculty, and the students belonging to the dif- 
ferent departments were often mingled together in the same classes. 
The only distinction was that those pupils who were candidates for 
degrees were considered members of the College; those who attended 
merely the English and Mathematical Schools, without pursuing clas- 
sical or philosophical studies, members of the Academy. After the 
reorganization in 1755, the Latin and Philosophy Schools were spoken 
of as the College, distinct from the other schools which formed the 
Academy. One other important change was the substitution of Mr. 
Smith for Dr. Allison as the head of the institution, the former becom- 
ing the provost, the latter the vice-provost. This change was made in 
recognition of the great services which Mr. Smith had rendered the 
Academy in strengthening its work and placing it upon the high basis 
of a collegiate institution similar to that existing at Cambridge. 

The first commencement of the College was held on May 17, 1757, 
when degree's in arts were conferred on seven young men who had 
completed their education within its walls.' Thereafter the College 
rose rapidly in importance. The br« adth of its plans, associated 
with the wisdom of its management, obtained for it the support of the 
neighboring population, and soon it acquired a fame which drew 
numerous students from distant colonies. From Maryland, Virginia, 
and the Carolinasit received much siipport; and even in the West Indies 
it was preferred to the English universities by many of the planters aud 
residents. The ''■ Plan of Education '' to be pursued in the College was 
prepared by Mr. Smith at the request of Board of Trustees, in May, 176C, 
and formed for years the basis of the American College system. The 
period of study extended over ^hree years and comprised rejidings in 
Juvenal, Livy, Cicero, Horace's Ars Poet tea, Quintiliau, and the Tuscu- 
lan Questions. The Iliad, Pindar, Thucydidas, Epictetus, and Plato's 
Be Legibus formed the work in Greek. Mathematics occupied a promi- 
nent position in the course of study, and during the last two years con- 
siderable work was done in natural philosophy, chemistry, hydrostatics, 
pneumatics, optics, and astronomy. Ethics aud politics, natuial aud 
civil law, and history formed a group of subjects to which more than 

' Tlie names of these earliest fjradnates were Paul Jackson, Jacob I)ach<5, Francis 
Hopkinson, Samuel Magaw, Hugh Williamson, Jamea Latta, and John Morgan. 


usual attention was given while Provost Smith had the administration 
of the College in his care. It is safe to say that at that day no institution 
of learning in America offered a course of study equal in extent and so 
liberalizing in its influence as did the College of Philadelphia. Both 
in the advantages it offered and the actual support which it received 
it was, perhaps, unrivaled, certainly not surpassed, by any of the col- 
leges at that time existing in the colonies. Only two years after the 
charter was granted the number of pupils in the institution amounted 
to about three hundred, one-third of whom were members of the College. 
In the year 1763, according to a statement made by the provost, nearly 
four hundred individuals were receiving their education in the various 
branches of the institution under his charge. Fully to appreciate this 
we must remember the condition of affairs in the colonies at that period. 
The population was sparse, the country was poor and had just emerged 
from a long and cruel war which tested to the utmost the endurance of 
the America people. Such a record as the College shows in that period 
of storm and stress can only deepen our sense of obHgation to the men 
who were holding up high ideals of intellectual life and endeavor at 
that time. 

At this period of its activity the College took a step that marked the 
beginning of a new epoch in American educational history. Later in 
origin than some similar institutions in the older colonies, the College 
of Philadelphia may nevertheless boast the honor of having established 
the first medical school in America. Dr. William Shippen was much 
interested in some such scheme for medical instruction and succeeded 
in obtaining the cooperation of Dr. John Morgan, one of the first grad- 
uates of the College, interested in the institution of a medical school in 
this city. Dr. Morgan was prosecuting his medical studies in England 
at the time and succeeded in securing the favor of several influential 
gentlemen in that country. He returned to Philadelphia with letters 
to the trustees from Mr. James Hamilton, the Rev. Richard Peters, both 
former presidents of the board, and from Thomas Penn, the proprietor, 
stiongly advising the adoption of his plan and recommending the doctor 
himself to their choice as one of the professors. At a special meeting, 
May 3, 1765, the board approved the scheme and appointed Dr. Morgan 
to the professorship of the theory and practice of x^hysic. The follow- 
ing September Dr. William Shippen was elected professor of anatomy 
and surgery; and the organization was afterwards completed by the 
addition of Dr. Adam Kuhn as professor of botany and materia niedica, 
and Dr. Benj. Rush, professor of chemistry. The first medical com- 
mencement was held on June 21, 1768, when ten men were given the 
degree of bachelor of medicine. 

The extraordinary activity of Dr. Smith succeeded in many ways in 
making the College a prominent institution in the province. Outside 
of his duties as provost he was an earnest worker in the church, in 
the field of science, literatuie, and education, and at times he took an 


active part iu the disciissiou of the political and social questious of the 
day. He sided with the war party agaijist the party of peace, and was 
never in sympathy with either the political principles or the religious 
doctrinesof the Friends acting with the Proprietaries against the popular 
party. A long and, at times, bitter controversy arose between the as 
sembly and Dr. Smith. Thrown into Walnut-street jail, in 1758, by the 
Provincial Assembly for publishing an alleged libel d<'rogatory to it« 
privileges, he undauntedly continued in prison his lectures to his <-la«s<'s, 
the students going to the jail to meet him. All tliis naturally tended 
to bring the College very promiuently before the public, and caused it 
in the end to suffer, along with Dr. Smith and his friends, at the hands 
of the popular party in the Assembly. 

In 1759 Dr. Smith went to England to secure redress at the hands of 
the Proprietors for the indignities which had been heaped uix)n him by 
the Assembly. There he was received with great honor and wa.s given 
the degree of doctor of divinity by Oxford, Abenleen, and Dublin. On 
his return from England, where his mission had been a success in every 
way. Dr. Smith found that the resources of the College were by no 
means adequate to sustain the growth which the institution had ex- 
perienced during the five years which had seen him provost. IjO<"al 
supj)ort had been strained to the utmost, and there seemecl no possibility 
of raising any more funds. Dr. Smith assured the trustees of the 
favorable disposition of influential i^ersons in England towards the 
College, and it was determined to send him on another voyage across 
the Atlantic. Furnished with the proper credentials. Dr. Smith sailed 
for England, where he arrived early in 1762, An appeal was made to 
the King, to the Proprietors, and to the people of England, setting forth 
the needs of the College. The re.sponse to this appeal by George III, 
the Penns, and the P]nglish peojile was so liberal that Dr. Smith re 
turned to America with a subscription amounting to over £6,<)()0. Ten 
years later the trustees set on foot another subscription in the colonies, 
from which considerable was oI)taiued, mainly through the efforts of Dr. 
Smith, who added in all about £2(>,()0() to the funds of the College. 

The ready response of the English friends of the College was acknowl- 
edged in an unmistakable manner. In the answer of the Board of 
Trustees to the letters of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Dr, Samuel 
Chandler, an eminent Dissenter, paying a tribute to the work of the 
College, after expressing its thanks for the attention which the gentle- 
men devoted to the prosperity of the College, adopted on June 14,1764, 
a fundamental rule or declaration, which is as follows: 

The Trustees being ever desirous to promote the Peace and Prosperity of this 
Seminary and to give Satisfaction to all its worthy Benefactors, have taken the above 
Letter (the Archbishop's) into serious Consideration, and pt-rfectly approving the 
Sentiments therein contained, do order the same to be inserted in their Books, that it 
may remain perpetually declarator!/ of the present icide and excellent Plan of this In- 
stitution, which hath not f.nly met with the approbation of the jin-at and worthy 
Personages above mentioned, but even the Royal Sanction of his Majesty himself. 


They further declare that they will keep this Plan closely in their View, and use their 
utmost tndeavor that the same he xot xarkowed, nor the members of the Church of 
England or those dissenting from them (in any future Election to the j)rincipal offices 
mentioned in the aforesaid Letter ') be put on any worse Footing in this Seminary than 
they are at the Time of obtaining the Royal Brief. They subscribe this with their 
names and ordain that the same be read and subscribed by every neiw Trustee that 
shall hereafter be elected before he takes his seat in the Board, 

Fifteen years later this miuiite of the trustees, binding themselves to 
preserve inviolate the original broad and liberal plan of the College, 
was made a pretext for abrogating its cliarter and privileges. The 
political activity of the provost was the means of drawing down upon 
^ the College the wrath of the Assembly. Althongh Dr. Smith was able 
to sustain his position and was for a time victorious over his enemies, 
the time came when they were only too eager to overthrow liiin. The 
opportunity arrived with the opening of the Revolutionary struggle 
and the consequent overthrow of the Proprietary Government of Penn- 
sylvania. The provost was well aware of the animus of the Assembly, 
and that the first effort to crush him would be by an attack on the Col- 
lege. Aside from the unpopularity of Dr. Smith, many of the trustees 
were known to be unfavorable to the colonial cause; some of them had 
left with the British troops when Howe evacuated the city. The fact 
also that the College had been fostered by English liberality, had been 
largely endowed by the Proprietors, and had even enjoyed the favor of 
George III, while from the Legislature of the Province it had nothing 
but neglect, strengthened the feeling that it was strongly attached to 
the Tory interest. Nevertheless every effort was made to conciliate the 
new authorities, and no public act was committed which couM afford 
ground for offense. Indeed it is hard at this day to see what fault 
could be found with Dr. Smith. He threw himself with great energy 
into the cause of the colonists, wrote pamphlets advocating iudej)end- 
ence, and preached sermons on the war; these served to carry his name 
from one end of the country to the other as that of a sound patriot. 
Invitations were extended to members of the Congress and to the State 
officials to attend the commencement which succeeded the first meeting 
of the Continental Congress; the delegates proceeded in a body from 
the State House to the College. To guard still further against the 
effects of that political excitement whicli there was reason to fear might 
be directed fatally against the College, an effort was made to secure a 
confirmation of the charter and privileges of the institution by a con- 
stitutional guaranty. In t\w, summer of 1776, while the convention of 
Pennsylvania was engaged in fi-aming a State constitution, as advised 
by the Congress, Dr. Smith, in company with others interested in cor- 

' This refers to a portion of the Archbishop's letter, where, speaking of the fact 
that nearly every religious denomination was represented in the faculty of the Col- 
lege, he remarks that care should be taken to prevent any sect in the ftiture attempt- 
ing to put the rest on a worse footing than they were at the time of the appeal of 
the College for funds. 


porate concerns, proposed that an article should be inserted in the lon- 
stitutiou securing the inviolability of chartered rights. The article was 
drawn up, introduced by Franklin in the convention, aud a«lopted. 
This secured to all societies " incorporated for the advauceiueut of re- 
ligion and learning, or for other pious or charitable jmrposes," the en- 
joyment of those rights and privileges of which they were possessed 
under the former laws of the Commonwealth. 

The College was closed during the occupation of Philadelphia by the 
British, and had in the meantime begun to suffer from the general de 
structive influences of the war. Its property had depreciated, its funds 
had been reduced to a very small amount, and altogether theinstitutiou 
was in an impoverished condition. Opened almost immediately uiwn 
the departure of the British army, it was not long before a disposition on 
the part of the public authorities was manifested to interfere in the affairs 
of the institution. This was shown by a vote of the General Assembly, 
February 23, 1779, appointing a committee to inquire into the "present 
state of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, its rise, funds, etc.," 
and giving the committee power "to send for persons and papers for 
that purpose." In answer to the questions of the investigating com- 
mittee. Dr. Smith prepared a long paper, which Avas inserted in the 
minutes of the Board of Trustees, giving an account of the origin of 
the College, the motives and principles of its establishment, the success 
which had attended its efforts, and the state of its affairs at the time of 
the investigation. No action was taken by the legislature upon the 
report of this committee, and it adjourned without making any decision 
as to the future of the College. But w^hen the 5th of July came, the 
commencement to be held that day was postponed at the request of 
Gen. Reed, president of the Executive Council of the State, who informed 
the trustees that some reason had been advanced in the Council against 
proceeding at present with the College work. Three days after this 
the board adopted a resolution which showed very plainly what antici- 
I>atiou they had of the tight in store for them. Upon motion it was 
agreed that — ' 

As the Presidejit of the State has thought proper to inform this Board, through 
some of its members, there are certain leffal objerlioiia to the exercise of some of 
their Kights under their Charter, and to advise the not holding a Commencement at 
the Time appointed, the Board have for the Present deferred holding the Commence- 
ment from an Expectation that some mode will lie speetlily adopted on the Part of 
the Government to draw such their Rights in Quest iou in a legal way, when this 
Board will take the proper Steps to defend their Charter according to Law. 

At the opening of the next session, in the month of September, the 
affairs of the College were again brought before the legislature in the 
message of President Reed. In that document Gen. Reed said, refer- 
ring to the College, that it "appears by its charter to have allied itself 
* * * closely to the Government of Britain by making the allegiance 
of it« governor to that State a prerequisite to any official act," and that 
he could not think " the good people of this State can or ought to rest 


satisfied or the piotection of the Governuieut be extended to an insti- 
tution framed with such attachments to the British Government, and 
conducted Avith a general inattention to the authority of the State." 

Following upon this message of the President of the State came the 
appointment of a committee of five to make further inquiry into the 
state of the College. This committee made a report, from which two 
of the members dissented, recommending a bill which should " secure 
to every denomination of Christians equal privileges, and establish 
said College on a liberal foundation, in wliich the interests of American 
liberty and independence will be advanced and promoted, and obedience 
and respect to the constitution of the State preserved." Accordingly 
an act of assembly was passed, November 27, 1770, making void the 
charters of 1753 and 1755, and prov-iding for the creation of a new cor- 
poration to be known by the name of " The Trustees of the University 
of tue State of Pennsylvania." 

The report of the September committee, after repeating the charges 
contained in the President's message, declared that several of the 
trustees, having joined the British army, stood attainted as traitors, 
and others had not, by taking the test, qualified themselves legally to 
fulfill the duties of their office; that the lunds of the institution were 
utterly inadequate to the proper support of an institution of learning, 
and that the original and fundamental principle of the College, by which 
it was bound to aflford perfect equality of privileges to all religious 
denominations, had not been fully maintained. 

The weakness of the position of the opponents of the College was 
glaringly apparent in the last charge. In the report of the committee 
reference is there made to a vote or by-law adopted by the trustees 
June 14, 1764, where they "departed [sic] in the management of the 
institution from the free and unlimited Catholicism of its original 
founders." On referring to this by-law it is found to be the fundamental 
declaration ado})ted by the trustees in regard to the use of the money 
collected in England by Dr. Smith. 

The otlKir charges were just as ill founded. All oaths acknowledg- 
ing the royal supremacy lost their obligation upon the establishment of 
the new Government. Furthermore, the oaths which had been exacted 
from the College authorities were precisely the same as those which 
had been required of any one called to fill any civil office in the Prov- 
ince prior to the Revolution, and the trustees were therefore in exactly 
the same position as any one who had ever held office under the Crown. 
The test oath, which the assembly had enacted, directed that on 
June 13, 1777, every white person above the age of 18 should take 
an oath of allegiance to the State; and by another vote on April 1, 
1778, enacted that all trustees, provosts, professors, and masters 
should take the same oath before June 1 of that year or forfeit their 
offices. As a matter of fact twelve of the trustees, the provost, and all 
the professors of the College had taken the oath required by law oefore 


June 1, 1778. And by November, 1779, when the charter was taken 
away, the Board of Trustees had the full quota re(|uired by law, twenty- 
one of Avhom had previously taken the oath, the three who ha<l not 
done so being Richard Penn, William Allen, and Dr. Bond. Curiously 
enough, after all that had been said in support of the abrogation of the 
College charter, and notwithstanding his allegell disqualification, Dr. 
Bond was named as a trustee of the . new coi-poration created by the 
act of 1779, as were also three others, who had not only not taken the 
oath to the State, but had just Lefore taken it to the King, one of whom 
had served as chaplain in the British army while it occupied Phila- 
delphia. In addition to all this it is evident that the act of the assem- 
bly was unconstitutional, violating the clause of the State constitution 
which especially forbade the spoliation of property held for the use of 
churches, colleges, and hospitals. Its illegality is still further seen in 
holding the corporation liable for the misconduct of a trustee, it being 
a well settled rule that such misconduct can work no forfeiture of trust. 
Nor are alleged infractions of a charter to be determined by legisla- 
tive but by judicial proceedings. 

All this illustrates only too well that blindness and perversion of 
judgment to which the best men are liable when under the influence of 
violent political excitement. After all is said in extenuation of the 
action of the assembly, that it was in line with the policy of the State 
and for such reasons had to be carried through, nothing is plainer than 
that the entire proceeding was an attempt to destroy the reputation of 
a set of men for no other reason than they had made themselves obnox- 
ious to tlie party which at last had obtained control of the State gov- 
ernment and was determined to make its new-gained power felt. 
The act of 1779 was the severest blow ever given the educational inter- 
ests of the Commonwealth. Up to that year the State had done nothing 
to advance the cause of higher education and but little for that of ele- 
mentary education. The College never fully recovered from the blow 
which came at a very critical period of its history; it is only within our 
own day that it has shown any signs of taking the place in American 
education which rightly belongs to it, and which it held before the close 
of the last century. 

The newly established University of the State of Pennsylvania seems 
to have been ill-favored from the start. Whatever interesLthere was 
in higher education in Philadelphia and throughout the province in 
1779 was confined almost entirely to those who were attached to the 
fortunes of the College. Many more resented the treatment which the 
College had received at the hands of the assembly, as prompted l>y a 
spirit of spohation rather than an effort to reorganize and strengthen 
the only institution for higheF learning in the State. Nor was the time 
propitious for the establishment of another institution of high grade. 
Men's energies were absorbed in a great political struggle, fortunes had 
been destroyed or were in imminent danger of destruction, and many 
H80 15 


who desired to assist a new institution found that it was altogether 
beyond their power. The new University had indeed a struggle for ex- 
istence. Efforts were made to have the legislature reconsider its action 
of 1779, and at the session of 1784, in September, the trustees of the 
College and Dr. Smith, presented a petition asking that so much of the 
a<;t of 1779 as took* away tlieir estates and franchises should be re- 
pealed. The petition was reported favorably by the committee in 
charge, but when the vote was called no quorum was present; the mi- 
nority left the house, thus dissolving the assembly. Nothing more was 
done for several years, when on March 6, 1789, a bill was passed rei^eal- 
ing " 80 much and all such parts of an act of general assembly of tliis 
Commonwealth passed on the * * ♦ twenty-seventh day of Novem- 
ber, in the j^ear of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
nine, entitled, etc.," and stating in the preamble that the act of 1779 
was "repugnant to justice, a violation of the constitution of this Com- 
monwealth, and dangerous in its precedent to all incorporated bodies 
and to the rights and franchises thereof." The College was thus re- 
established in its old privileges and franchises with Dr. Smith as provost. 

But it was found that there was no room for two rival educational 
institutions in the city and that the cause of higher education would 
be advanced by a consolidation of the College with the University. 
Tlie trustees of both institutions united in an application to the assembly 
asking that the charters of both might be surrendered and a new cor- 
poration created, to be governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 
an equal number taken from the College and the University. The 
petition was favorably received, and the assembly, on September 31, 
1791, passed an act uniting the University of the State of Pennsylvania 
and the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, 
creating a new coriwration, to be known as "The Trustees of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania." 

Upon the consolidation of the legal interests of two old institutions 
it was found rather difficult to effect a satisfactory arrangement of the 
internal affairs of the new institution. It was clearly out of the ques- 
tion, owing to the financial condition, to attempt any such expansion 
as would embrace all the professors and teachers who had been con- 
nected with the old College and the short-lived State University; and 
yet there were reasons why some effort should be made that would 
include as many of them in the new scheme as far as its purpose would 
permit. Notwithstanding the difl&culty of the plan a reorganization 
was finally secured which in a measure solved the problem. Excluding 
the Charitable School, there were to be three "departments" — the Arts, 
Law, and Medicine. The Department of Arts included five separate 
s('hool8 under the care of six professoVs and necessary assistants. In 
the Philosophy School, the nucleus of the College, there were to be two 
professors, one of Natural Philosophy, the other of Moral Philosophy. 
The four remainifag schools were each to have a distinct professor; the 


Grammar School, a professor of Latin ami Greek; the Mathematical 
School, a professor of mathematics; the English School, a professor of 
English and belles-lettres; and the German School, a professor of CJer- 
man and oriental languages. To fill .these six professorships, three 
individuals were chosen out of each of the former faculties, in con- 
formity with the provision of the act of union by which the trustees 
were bound to select the officers of the new Diiiversity equally from the 
two seminaries. The result was that but two of the late professors 
were omitted — Dr. Smith, of the College, and Dr. Magaw, of the Uni- 
versity; the former, owing to age and infirmities and probably the 
presence of a little of the old political animosity, quietly withdrew, 
while the latter, fearing that he might stand in the way of his friend 
Dr. Andrews, who was afterwards elected vice-provost, declined a nom- 
ination. To complete the organization. Dr. John Ewing, who filled the 
chair of natural philosophy and who had been the provost of the State 
University, was elected provost of the new institution. 

The German School was the outcome of the efforts of the German 
Society and of the old University authorities to meet the wants of the 
German population of the State. German had been a prominent stndy 
in the College, and in 1785 a professorship was created to carry on 
instruction in the same tongue throughout the whole University course. 
The project, though promising success at first, did not Succeed. The 
number of German students in 1785 was 60, being in excess of the 
number of English students, but the next year it had dwindled down 
to six. In 1788 the Department was closed, and the same year saw 
the opening of the German College in Lancaster County, now known 
as Franklin and Marshall College. 

The Law Department, like the Medical School, was the first institu- 
tion of its kind in America. It was the result of the efforts of the 
College authorities, soon after the revival of that institution, to provide 
legal instruction for all those who were desirous of preparing them- 
selves for the profession. In 1790 the Trustees of the College elected 
the Hon. James Wilson, a member of the board and one of the Asso- 
ciate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, Professor of 
Law. From this dates the birth of the present Law School of the 

During Dr. Ewing's term as provost there were but few changes, 
one of the most important being the removal of the University from ite 
old home on Fourth street to a site nearer the center of the city. In 
1791 the Legislature of Pennsylvania appropriated money for the 
erection of a building to be used as the residence of the President of 
the United States. A lot of ground was bought, situated on the west 
side of Ninth street and extending from ^larket to Chestnut streets, 
upon which was erectM what was then considered a very handsome 
mansion. Though the house had been built expressly for the use of 
Washington, he never occupied it, as it was not finished until 1797, and 


President Adams, declining to receive favors from the Legislature, 
would not accept it. There being no use for the buildings, they were 
sold at public auction in March, 1800, and bought by the University 
for $41,050, less than half thejr original cost. After some nece*>sary 
alterations, the departments were finally transferred to their new 
quarters in the spring of 1802, where they remained nearly three- 
quarters of a century. XJie same year Dr. Ewing died, and it was not 
until 1807 that his successor was chosen in the person of Dr. John 
McDowell, who the year before had been elected professor of natural 
philosophy. Three years had scarcely elapsed before Dr. McDowell 
was forced to resign through ill health and the trus'tees were embar- 
rassed whom to choose for his successor. Dr. Andrews, who had been 
vice-provost for nearly twenty years in the College and in the Uni- 
versity, was elected provost in 1810. Owing to ill health, he too was 
compelled to resign and the Rev. Frederick Beaseley was elected suc- 
cessor in July, 1813. 

By the time of the election of Mr. Beasley the condition of the Uni- 
versity was far from being satisfactory. Though the Medical Depart- 
ment continued to grow, the College Department received fewer students 
every year. In 1791 there were but twelve students in the two highest 
classes of the College, the numbers qualified to be graduated were in sev- 
eral instances so few that it was deemed unnecessary and impolitic to 
hold commencements, and when the practice of conferring degrees pub- 
licly was resumed, it not unfrequently hai)pened that only five or six 
individuals appeared as candidates for the honors. The institution 
came to be regarded as a seminary of inferior grade, and undoubtedly 
had fallen behind many others of which it had enjoyed the unques- 
tioned precedence. In 1810 a reorganization of the College was car- 
ried through, doing away with the so-called " schools," and arranging the 
students into three classes: freshman, junior, and senior.' The cur- 
riculum was modified and rearranged, and in general made to conform 
to the new conditions which had arisen since the opening of the cen- 
tury. But in one direction the reorganization seriously weakened the 
College in that it abolished the last remnant of Franklin's plan for a 
liberal English education. Up to 1810 the professorship of English 
and belles-lettres was nominally on a footing with the other profes- 
sorships, but was in fact regarded as something of so little importance 
to the University that it could be abolished, and with it went Avhat 
was left of the English school. In 1817 Mr. Charles W. Hare at- 
tempted to revive the Department of Law, which had been neglected 
since the death of Justice Wilson. Although it was something of a 
success, the project was abandoned, to be attempted again some thirty 
years later. The year preceding, the Board of Trustees created a new 
department to be devoted to the study of natural stdence. This de- 
partment was organized with five professors, and annual courses of 

' Shortly after this » fourth year was addetl to the college course, 


lectures to be publicly delivered were required by the regulations. 
The course of instruction embraced natural philosophy, botany, natural 
history, mineralogy, chemistry applied to agriculture and the art«, and 
comparative anatomy. The support given by the public, however, wa.>* 
not sufficient to compensate for the eftbrts put forth, the professors 
were badly paid, and the department soon fell into neglect. It was 
abolished shortly after the establishment of the Franklin Institute, in 
1824, which rendered, it was said at the time, such a department in 
the University "unnecessary." 

Mr. Beasley resigned in 1828, and was succeeded by Dr. William H. 
De Laucey. During the five years of Dr. De Lancey's provostship a 
spirit of progress pervaded the University. When he was elected, iu 
1828, there were but twenty-one students in the College Department, 
but by 1833 the number had increased to one hundred and twenty-five. 
Called to other work, he was succeeded by Dr. John Ludlow, who re- 
mained iu office to 1853. Among the services which Dr. Ludlow ren- 
dered the University was the interest taken in the second revival of 
the Law Department — this time successful — under the influence of 
Judge Sharswood. Henry Vethake was elected to succeed Dr. Ludlow 
iu 1853, and he in turn was succeeded by Dr. Daniel R. Goodwin iu 
1860. Dr. Goodwin was iustrumental in strengthening the spirit of 
instruction and bringing about an air of discipline, from the lack of 
which the University was suffering. A new department, that known 
as the Auxiliary Department of Medicine, was founded in 1865, through 
the liberality of Dr. George B. Wood, who provided for its maintenance 
during his lifetime and its endowment after his death. Owing to his 
interest in ecclesiastical affairs Dr. Goodwin was led to resign iu 1868, 
when Dr. Charles J. Stille was elected his successor. 

With the resignation of Dr. Goodwin the old regime of University 
administration came to an end. From E wing's day down to the elec- 
tion of Dr. Stille — over three-quarters of a century — the spirit of that 
administration had been that of the old traditional college. Now and 
then there had been a little burst of enthusiasm, as under Beasley 
and De Lancey, only to fall into the old methods, the old idea-^, and 
the old purposes of what was then considered the scheme of higher 
education in America. 

Dr. Stills had been elected professor of English literature in 1866, 
and the spirit with which he entered upon his work soon brought him 
to be recognized as the man who could uiulertjike the reorganization of 
the University, and make it in fact as well as in name what it pret^^nded 
to be. The condition of the University was discouraging when Dr. 
Stills was elected provost in 1868. The course of study in the College 
Department was substantially that which had been introduced by Dr. 
Smith into the old College of Philadelphia in 1755. Several efforts 
liad been made, especially in 1842-'43 through Bishop Potter, to revise 
the curriculum and give it more breadth, but they resulted iu failure, 


and were denounced as attempts to ''Germanize" our American col- 
leges! One fact alone will illustrate the degree of public interest in 
the University. For more than eighty years before Dr. Stille became 
provost the University had received but one donation, that of Mi-. 
Elliot Cresson of $5,000, the income of which was to be devoted to aid 
in the instruction of drawing, a subject which was not then in the 
University course of study. 

The first great change was the revision of the curriculum and the 
introduction of the elective system of studies. This was proposed in 
December, 1866, was adopted by the Board of Trustees, and went into 
operation September, 1867. The board at the sauie time began to look 
to the strengthening of the financial side of the University, and appointed 
a committee, with Mr. John Welsh as chairman, to procure an endow- 
ment fund of $500,000. Unfortunately for the University, Mr. Welsh 
was called to the Court of St. James and the community did not respond 
to the appeal for endowment. In the spring of 1868, Mr. Nathaniel B. 
Brown brought to tlie notice of the board a plan by which he thought 
the endowment fund could be completed. He proposed that the city 
should be asked to sell to the University for a nominal compensation 
twenty-five or thirty acres of the alms-house farm in West Philadelphia, 
a portion of which might be used as a site for the erection of buildings 
suitable for the proposed and enlarged system of instruction including a 
Scientific School, and that the rest might be sold as occasion should 
present and the proceeds be paid into the endowment fund. The 
Board acted immediately upon this suggestion, and at a meeting held 
in June, 1868, appointed a special committee to inquire into the expe- 
diency of procuring a new site for the University buildings. 

The results of the labors of this special committee were gratifying to 
all the friends of the University, although it had not been able to secure 
as much assistance from the city as had been hoped for. One immedi- 
ate result was the passage of an ordinance by the city councils grant- 
ing t«n acres of land in West Philadelphia, at $8,000 per acre. Prepa- 
rations were made immediately for the erection of the University build- 
ings. Plans for new buildings were prepared by Professor Richards of 
the University and, after modification to suit the circumstances and 
the financial condition of the University, were put into execution, and 
the comer stone of College Hall was laid in June, 1871. Following 
upon this, March 5, 1872, was the adoption by the Board of a plan to 
reorganize the Department of Arts and to establish a Department of 
Science known later as the "Towne Scientific School" in recognition of 
the gift from the estate of Mr. John H. Towne. In July of the same 
year, the property at Ninth and Chestnut streets was sold to the United 
States Government, and additional ftmds were thus secured for the erec- 
tion of the College building, which was finished and dedicated the fol- 
lowing September. 

lu 1870 the legislature had appropriated $100,000 upon the condition 


that $250,000 more suould be raised and the entire sum be spent 
upon a general hospital whicU^ was to maintain iit least two hundred 
free beds. In 1873 an additional appropriation of $100,000 was made 
for the same purpose ui)on the same condition. The grant of land 
which the city had made in 1870 was increased by 5^ acres in 1872, for 
the erection of the hospital. Four years from the first appropriation by 
the legislature the hospital was completed, and for the first time in its 
history the Medical Department had the means of carrying on an im- 
portant part of its work whicli had previously suffered from lack of 
I)roper clinical facilities. 

Another addition to the University was the Department of Music, 
established in 1877, and intended as a school for advanced students 
who desired to add to the mere ability to read and perform music a 
scientific acquaintance with harmony and counterpoint. 

As a necessary outgrowth of the scientific work of the Medical De- 
partment came the organization, in 1878, of the Department of Den- 
tistry. This department is one which commands the estimation of pro- 
fessional men, and during the twenty-four years of its existence has 
succeeded in securing a reputation which is second to none in America. 

One other important change during the administration of Dr. Still6 
was the abolition of the remaining feature of the old corporation ot 
1753 — the Charitable School. All that remained of the old Academy 
had been abolished many years before, but owing to the conditions 
surrounding the Charitable School it still remained in existence, not 
doing by any means the work intended for it by its founders. On 
May 1, 1877, a committee of the Board of Trustees made a report 
to that body in which it advised that the school be discontinued on 
July 1, 1877. They further recommended that the gratuitous instruction 
to be provided for out of the trust funds held by the University for that 
purpose should hereafter be given in the College building in West 
Philadelphia; that until otherwise ordered by the trustees, male indi- 
gent students under twenty-one years of age should be admitted to the 
Department of Arts and the Towne Scientific School, under such regula- 
tions as might be framed by the provost for such admission, with the 
approval of the Committees of the Board of Trustees on the Arts Depart- 
ment and the Towne Scientific School, as admission to either of said 
departments might require; that the Committee on Buildings, Estates, 
and Property be authorized and requested to rent the school building 
on the lot on Fourth street, near Arch street, for such use as they may 
deem proper, the rent received therefrom to be appropriated for gratui- 
tous instruction. This report was adopted and the Charitable School 
ceased to exist. 

The fourteen years during which Dr. Still(? wa's provost saw many 
important changes. No man since William Smith had brought into the 
office of provost such energy, such zeal for the promotion of the inter- 
ests of the University and the intellectual life of the community in 


which it was situated. No mau had a clearer idea of what a university 
should be, and no niaji ever hibored more faithfully and earnestly to 
achieve his ideal. When he resigned in January, 1880, everyone who 
realized what a change had been wrought in the organization of the 
I'niversity during his admimstratiou deplored the loss of his services 
to education.' 

■In tbe preparatiofi of this article frerjuent use has been made of the minutes of 
the Board of Trustees, Wood's "History of tbe University," Wickersham's " History 
of Education in Pennsylvania," Stille's "Memoirs of Willtam Smith," MacMaster's 
"Franklin as a Man of Letters," Franklin's Autobiography, Stille's "Reminiscences 
of a Provost," Jesse Y. Bnrk's account of tbe history of the University in Scharf & 
Wescott's "History of Philadelphia," and contemporary newspapers. Tbe history 
of the University from 1881 to 1892 is continued by the editor in Chapter II. See 
page 195. 

J. L. S. 

Chapter V. 

The settlement of Pennsylvania being due to the unrest of the mem- 
bers of a religious sect whose advanced thought brought them into con- 
flict with existing conditions in England, and the moral and mental 
breadth of its founder having led him to offer it as a home, not only 
for those of his own way of thinking, but for all in that island and upon 
the continent who had in vain wrestled against intolerance, it was but 
natural that his province should attract more men of learning than 
other colonies whose promoters were simply seeking for profit or were 
bent upon the enforcement of illiberal policies. Therefore it came about 
that among the early colonists of Pennsylvania there were an unusual 
number of men of scholarly attainments, some of whom had been 
doughty champions upon one side or the other in the polemical warfare 
then being everywhere waged, a struggle necessary for and preparatory 
to the establishment of the principle that humanity is capable of gov- 
erning itself. Penn, the founder of a successful state and a practical 
legislator whose work has stood the test of time, as well as the most 
conspicuous figure among the colonizers of America, was a student of 
Oxford University and a profuse writer of books of verse, travel, doc- 
trine, and controversy which made a strong impress upon the thought 
of his time. James Logan devoted the leisure left to him after attend- 
ing to the interests of the proprietor to the translation from the Latin 
of the Cato Major and the Moral Distichs, and he collected a library of 
rare books which was then unrivaled upon this side of the Atlantic 
and even now would be considered extraordinary. David Lloyd, a 
lawyer ready and pertinacious in the discussion of all questions affect- 
ing the polity of the jirovince, was equally skillful in the drafting of acts 
of assembly and the compilation of the laws. George Keith, trained in 
the schools of Edinburgh, was the author of numerous treatises upon 
theology and, together with Penn and Robert Barclay of Ury, defended 
the Quaker doctrines against the assaults of the learned divines of the 
European churches. Francis Daniel Pastorius, lawyer, linguist, and phil- 
osopher, proud of his pedigree and fresh from the public discussion of ab- 

'In the preparation of this paper I have used freely Dr. Still^'s memoir of Wm. 
Smith and Wickersham's History of Education in Pennsylvania, and I am indebted 
to Mr. F. D. Stone for calling my attention to the interesting fact that the Consti- 
tution of 1T76 provided for university education. 


struse questions of ethics and government upon the imiversi-ty platforms 
of tlie continent, signalized his arrival at Germantown by the preparation 
and publication in 1690 of his Four Treatises, and left for future genera- 
tions a bibliography in manuscript of the volumes in his library. Lud- 
wig. Count Zinzendorff, of noble lineage and influential surroundings, 
came with the Moravians, whose leader he was, to the hills of the Leliigh, 
but was not prevented by the practical duties of looking after the wel- 
fare of his flock from writing numerous collections of hymus, sermons, 
and addresses. Christopher Taylor, familiar with the Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew languages, of which he had prepared and published a text-book, 
had long been the head of a school at Edmonton in Essex. IsTot only 
were there many such individual instances of more than ordinary learn- 
ing, but the sects from which the early population of Pennsylvania was 
mainly drawn, though they regarded the amusements and adornments of 
life as frivolities by means of which Satan was enabled to lead souls 
astray, were nevertheless people of great intellectual activity, finding 
proUfic expression abroad in a flood of publications, and it was not sur- 
prising that soon the printing houses of the Bradfords, Keimer, Sower, 
Ephrata, Franklin, and Bell, the most productive in the colonies, sprang 
up here to supply their mental needs. A community with such ex- 
amples before them and permeated with such influences could not long 
remain without an institution giving the opportunities for the higher 
education of youth. The frame of government announced by Penn as 
early as April 25, 1682, provided that the " governor and provincial 
council shall erect and order all iwblick schools and encourage and 
reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions," and 
directed the council to form a '''committee of manners, education, and 
arts, that all wicked and scandalous' living may be prevented and that 
youth may be successfully trained up in virtue and useful knowledge 
and arts." At the meeting of the council on the 17th of the eleventh 
month, 168.3, a "school of arts and sciences" was proposed, and in 1689 
the William Penn Charter School, still in existence and doing most valu- 
able work, was formally opened. Following the suggestion of the peti- 
tion of Anthony Morris, Samuel Carpenter, Edward Shipi)en, David 
Lloyd, and others, the assembly in its charter granted in 1711 provided 
for the instruction of " poor children " in " reading, work, languages, 
arte, and sciences." This school in its successful operation was the fore- 
runner of the University of Pennsylvania, and the later institution had, 
like its predecessor, its origin in that spirit of broad philanthropy, 
regardful of the welfare of the lowly, which has ever been character- 
istic of Philadelphia and has resulted in the establishment of so many 
of her public institutions. 

In 1740 a number of citizen^ of different religious denominations 
united in raising subscriptions for the purpose of erecting a large 
building, to be used as a charity school for the instruction of poor chil- 
dren gratis in useful literature and the Christian religion, and also as 


a place of publi(; worsliii). In addition to the establishment of the 
school, they had in view the special object of providing a convenient 
house in which George Whitetield could preach whenever he came to 
Philadelphia. The lot was purchased on the 15th of 'September of that 
year and the building was erected. Subsequently the design was en- 
larged to include the idea of an academy, and on the 1st of February, 
174:9, the lot and buildings were conveyed to James Logan and twenty- 
three other trustees, upon the trust that they should keep a house or 
place of worship for the use of such .preacher as they should judge 
qualified, and particularly for the use of Whitefield, and a free school 
for the instructing, teaching, and education of poor children, and should 
have power to found an " academy, college, or other seminary of learn- 
ing for instructing youth in the languages, arts, and sciences." The 
same year Benjamin Franklin, ever quick to catch inspiration from the 
events occurring around him, jjublished his "Proi)osals Relating to the 
Education of Youth in Pennsylvania." He alleges in his autobiog- 
raphy that the foundation of the Academy was due to the publication 
of this paper and bis own subsequent personal efforts. He says : 

This I distributed among the principal inhabitants gratis, and as soon as I could 
suppose their minds prepared by the perusal of it I set on foot a subscription for 
opening and supporting an academy, » " » avoiding as much as I could, according 
to my usual rule, the presenting myself to the publick as the author of any aclieme for 
their benefit. 

The question may be raised whether this account written many years 
later is quite accurate. Dr. Caspar Wistar, a contemporary and him- 
self long identified with the work and fame of the University, says in 
his eulogium on William Shippen (page 21) while speaking of the serv- 
ices of Phineas Bond : 

In conjunction with the much respected Thomas Hopkinsou he originated the 
scheme of the college now the University of Pennsylvania. 

The trustees, among whom Thomas Hopkinson, Tench Francis, and 
Richard Peters, with Franklin, appear to have been particularly active 
and efficient, secured among themselves and their friends an endowment 
for the academy amounting to £800 a year for five years, and the city 
gave an additional sum of £100 a year for five years and £200 in cash. 

The institution thus established was incorporated by Thomas and 
Richard Penn, proprietors and governors of the province, on the 13th of 
July, 1753, under the name of "The Trustees of the Acatlemy and Chari- 
table School in the Province of Pennsylvania." The charter sets forth 
that it had been represented by the trustees named that for estab- 
lishing an academy "as well to instinct youth for reward as poor cliil- 
dren whose indigent and heli^less circumstances demand the charity of 
the opulent," several benevolent persons had i)aid subscriptions ex- 
pended in the purchase of lands and a building commodious for main- 
taining an academy "as well for the instruction of poor children as 
others whose circumstances have enabled them to pay for their learning," 
and that the proprietors, favoring such useful and charitable designs, 


the trustees are given power to purchase lands, to receive any sum of 
money or goods, "therewith to erect, set up, maintain, aud support an 
academy or any other kind of seminary of learning in any place within 
the said province of Peinisylvania where they sliall judge the same to 
he m«8t necessary and convenient for the instruction, improvement, and 
education of youtli in any kind of literature, erudition, arts, and sciences 
which they shall think proper to be taught," to sue and be sued, and to 
have a seal, and to make ordinances and statutes for their government. 
A confirmatory charter was granted by the same proprietors, dated 
June 10, 1755, which changed the name to that of "The Trustees of 
the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, in the 
Province of Pennsylvania," and limited the power to hold lands to an 
amount not exceeding £5,000 sterling in yearly value, and gave power to 
confer degrees and to appoint a provost, vice-provost, and professors. It 
is thus seen that the plan of the charitable school which originated in 
1740 is not only maintained in the deed of 1749 and in both of the char- 
ters, but is made an essential and conspicuous feature of the design. 
It is of importance to call particular attention to this fact, because in 
all printed accounts of the University heretofore its origin has been 
assigned to the efforts of 1749, though the movement really began with 
the subscription, imrchase of land and erection of a building for a 
charitable school nine years before, and the institution is entitled to 
claim 1740 as the date of its birth and philanthropy as its primary 

By the confirmatory charter of 1755 the Rev. William Smith, M. A., 
was at the request of tlie trustees appointed the first provost. He was 
a native of Aberdeen, in Scotland, and was graduated from the Univer- 
sity tliere, became a clergyman of the Church of England, and coming 
first to N^ew York and subsequently to Philadelphia, where an article 
written by him upon "The College of Mirania," had made a favorable 
impression, he was selected to take charge of the college and academy 
in 1754. To his intelligence, energy, and activity in its behalf, its im- 
mediate and great success was mainly due. He submitted a plan of 
education, lulopted and carried into effect in 1756, more comprehensive, 
a« Dr. Stillc'i tells us, than any other then in existence in the American 
colonies.* When in England in 1759 he secured from Thomas Penn a 
dee<l conveying for the benefit of the college one-fourth of the manor 
of Perkasit*, in Bucks County, consisting of about 2,500 acres of land, 
and finding it in debt he went abroad again in 1762, and in two years 
by indomitable exertion secured, notwithstanding the opposition of Dr. 
Franklin, who " took uncommon pains to misrepresent our academy," the 

'Rev. Andrew Bumaby, D. D,, says in his "Travels Through North America iu 
1760," third edition, p. 60, "There is also an academy or college originally built for 
a tabernacle for Mr. Whitefifld." * • • 

•"This last institution is eriT-ted upon an admirable plan and is by far the best 
institution of learning throughout America." — Buruaby, p. 66. 


very large sum of £6,921 Is. Gd. Of this amount Thomas Penii, the 
chief patron of the college, whose gifts for the ])urpose during his life 
equaled £4,500, contributed £500, the king £200, and there were 
over 11,000 other contribvitors. In those days the pursuits of men 
were not so much diflferentiated as they have since become, and, as 
might have been expected from one with the acquirements and mental 
activities of Dr. Smith, his voice was heard and his hand was felt in 
all the affairs of the province. As a clergyman, he preached fast-day 
sermons; as an orator, he delivered addresses upon public occasions; 
he made investigations in astronomy and other sciences; edited a 
magazine, and, moreover, he was a speculator in lands and an active 
politician. He was regarded as the exponent of the views of the col- 
lege and the custodian of its interests, and, while it was benefited by 
his exertions, it also suffered through the antagonisms he aroused. A 
churchman and a friend of the proprietors, he cordially disliked and 
opposed the Quakers, who elected the assembly and controlled public 
affairs, and the German Mennonites, Bunkers, and Moravians, through 
whose support they were able to do it. In 1755 he published a political 
pamphlet in which he denounced the Quakers for being influenced by 
interest rather than conscience and accused the Germans of sympa- 
thizing with the French in their aggressions. He married the daughter 
of William Moore, president judge of the court of common pleas of 
Chester County, an aristocratic and influential personage living on his 
estate at Moore Hall, on the Pickering Creek, twenty-five miles from 
the city. 

On the 23d of November, 1755, Moore, who, besides holding his peace- 
ful judicial oiflce, was a colonel in the militia, wrote a letter to the 
Assembly saying that he was coming down to Philadelphia with 2,000 
men to compel them to pass a law providing means for military pro- 
tection. His letter marked the beginning of a struggle that shook the 
whole province, and was fraught with baleful consequences'to both Smith 
and the College. During the succeeding. two years numerous petitions 
were presented to the Assembly charging Moore with tyranny, injustice, 
and even extortion, in the conduct of his office, and asking that he might 
be removed. The Assembly, after a hearing which was many times 
adjourned in order to give him an opportunity to be heard, but which 
he declined to attend, upon the ground that they had no authority to 
make the investigation, determined that he was guilty of the wrongs 
charged. Soon afterwards, October 19, 1757, he wrote and published a 
paper wTierein he fiercely reviewed their action, calling it "virulent and 
scandalous" and a "continued string of the severest calumny and most 
venomous epithets conceived in all the terms of malice and party rage." 
Inimediately after the meeting of the new Assembly, composed for the 
most part of the same members as the preceding, they sent the vser- 
geant-at-arms with a warrant for the arrest of Moore, and of Dr. Smith 
yrho was supposed to Ji^ive aided in tU^ preparation of the paper. Upoij 


being ])rouglit before the Assembly they refused to make a defense, 
tliougli Moore admitted he had written tlie paper and declined to retract 
any of its statements, and it was ordered that he be confined until he 
should recant, and the address be burned by the hangman. They were 
given into the custody of the sheriff and were kept in jail in Philadel- 
phia for about three months, "herding with common thieves and felons," 
but after the adjournment of the Assembly were released upon a writ 
of habeas corpus. Smith went to England to prosecute an appeal to 
the Crown, and on February 13, 1700, " His Majesty's high displeasure" 
was announced to the Assembly at their unwarrantable behavior in 
assuming power that did not belong to them, and invading the royal 
prerogative and the liberties of the people. It was a personal triumph 
for Dr. Smith, but ere long came the Eevolutiouary war, when his 
opponents grasped the reins of power, and neither the royal govern- 
ment nor the King himself could render Mm any aid. 

Early in 1779 the Assembly appointed a committee, "To inquire into 
the i^resent state of the College and Academy," and in July, Gen. 
Joseph Reed, President of the State, suggested to the trustees that 
since some of them were under legal disqualifications it would be wise 
not to hold a public commencement. TVTien the new Assembly met, in 
September, the President in his message said, with reference to the 
College, that it "appears by its charter to have allied itself * * * 
closely to the Government of Britain by making the allegiance of its 
governors to that ^tate a prerequisite to any official act," and that he 
could not think " the good people of this State can or ought to rest 
satisfied or the protection of the Government be extended to an institu- 
tion framed with such attachments to the liritish Government and con- 
ducted with a general inattenticm to the authority of the State." A 
committee appointed tf) consider the subject reported, recommending a 
bill which should " secure to every denomination of Christians equal 
privileges, and establish said College on a liberal foundation in Avhich 
the inten^sts of American liberty and independence will be advanced 
and promoted, and obedience and respect to the constitution of the 
State preserved." 

An act of Assembly was thereupon passed November 27, 1Z79. 
It set forth that the trustees haxl narrowed the foundations of the in- 
stitution and it declared the charters of 1753 and 1755 void. It pro- 
videxl that the estate, real and personal, should be vested in a Board 
of Trustees ccmsistingof the president and vice-president of the su- 
preme executive council of the Commonwealth, the speaker of the 
assembly, the (;hief-justice of the supreme court, the judge of ad- 
miralty, and the attorney-general, the senior ministers of the Epis- 
copal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, German-Calvinist, and Roman 
churches in the city, Benjamin Franklin, William Shippen, Frederick 
A. Muldenberg, James Searle, William A. Atlee, John Evans, Timothy 
Matlack, David Rittenhouse, Jonathan Bayard Smith, Samuel Morris, 


George Bryan, Thoma.s Bond, and James Hutchinson, by the name of 
"The Trustees of the University of the State of Pennsylvania," and 
directed that confiscated estates of the yearly value of not over £1,500 
should be reserved for the maintenance of the provost and assistants 
and to uphold " the charitable school of the said University." An 
oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth was substituted for the former 
one to the Crown, and means were provided to compel a transfer of the 
property by the trustees of the College to the trustees appointed by the 
act. This action of the Assembly has been ^characterized as a simple 
act of s])oliation, and so much of it as took away the estates and fran- 
chises of the College was repealed in 1789, upon the ground that it was 
"repugnant to justice, a violation of the constitution of the Common- 
wealth, and dangerous in its precedent to all incorporated bodies." Its 
supporters had succeeded in driving Br. Smith away from the city, but 
they had not been able to infuse life into the new University, and though 
aided by a loan from the State of £2,000 it languished in debt. The 
eflect of the repeal was to renew the College, and in consequence there 
were two institutions having in view substantially the same objects and 
seeking the same support. They were united by an act of assembly of 
September 30, 1791, which x)rovided for the vesting of the estates of 
both in aboard of new trustees, consisting of twelve elected by each 
and the governor of the Commonwealth, under the name of "The Trus- 
tees of the University of Pennsylvania," who were given power "to do 
everything needful and necessary to the establishment of the said Uni- 
versity and the good government and education of the youth belonging 
to the same, and to constitute a fai^ulty or learned body to consist of 
such liead or heads and such a number of i)rofessors in tfie arts and 
sciences and in law, medicine, and divinity as they shall judge neces- 
sary and proper." The connection of the institution with the State was 
maintained by providing that the governor should be one of the trus- 
tees and that an annual statement of the funds should be laid before the 
legislature. This final act of fundamental legislation affecting the 
grant of rights to the University declared that " charity schools shall 
be supported, one for boys and the other for girls," thus preserv- 
ing the chief thought which was in the minds of its originators in 1740. 
The school, intended iji its beginning to be a charity, had been enlarged 
into a college and academy to teach the arts and sciences in 1753, and 
had now grown into a University, including in its course instruction in 
law, medicine, and divinity. 

The school of medicine was opened in 1765 by Dr. John Morgan, that 
of law in 1791 by Justice James Wilson, and each was the first upon 
that special subject in America. 

The reservation of confiscated estates in the act of 1779 was the first 
direct contribution made by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the 
cause of higher education. The lands so reserved were estimated to be 
worth £35,000 and iu 1785 their annual value was £1,381 5s. l^d. 


By the act of March 19, 18(>7, the sum of $3,000 was granted " out of 
the monies they owe the State " to the trustees for the purpose of en- 
abling them to establish a garden for the improvement of the science 
of botany and for instituting a series of experiments to ascertain the 
cheapest and best food for plants and their medicinal properties and 
virtues.' "By act of May 5, 1832, their real estate in the city of Phil- 
adelphia was exempted from 'county, poor, and corporation taxes ' for 
fifteen years. A general act which became a law April- 10, 1838, ex- 
empted ' all universities, colleges, academies — incorporated, erected, 
ordained, orestablished by virtue of any law of this Commonwealth with 
the grounds thereto annexed — from all and every county, road, city, 
borough, poor, and school tax.' This act received judicial construction 
in the case of City of Philadelphia vs. The Trustees (8 Wright, 300), where 
it was held that the Medical Hall of the University, occupied by the 
faculty whose compensation was derived from the j)roceeds of their re- 
spective chairs, was under it exempt from taxation. Section 1 of Article 
IX of the present constitution of the State provides that the assembly 
may by general law exempt from taxation ' institutions of purely i)ublic 
charity,' and the act of May 14, 1874, passed in pursuance of this arti- 
cle of the constitution, relieves from county, city, borough, bounty, road, 
school, and poor tax all ' universities, colleges, seminaries, and academies 
endowed and maintained by piiblic or private charity.' " 

In 1838 the legislature made provision for an annual appropriation of 
$1,000 for ten years to each university maintaining 4 professors and in- 
structing 100 students. The University of Pennsylvania received the 
annual sum until 1843. In that year the appropriation was reduced one- 
half and tile following year it failed utterly. The act of May 11, 1871, 
extended the power of the trustees to acquire real and personal property 
and enabled them to hold an additional amount to the clear annual value 
of $30,000. In 1872 the State gave to the University the sum of 
$100,000 upon (;ondition that it should raise an additional sum of 
$250,000, '.' the entire ap^^ropriation to be expended in the erection of 
a general hospital in connection with said institution, in which at least 
200 beds free for persons injured shall be forever maintained," and the 
following year a further sum of $100,000 for the same purpose upon 
the condition that it should raise a like amount. By the act of May 
29, 1889, the State made an appropriation of $12,500 to be paid to the 
trustees for the erection of a veterinary hospital, upon the condition 
that they should furnish free of cost " to deserving young men of this 
State, to the number of not less than twelve in attendance at one time, 
said young men to be nominated by the governor of the Commonwealth, 
and in perpetuity free instruction in the art and science of veterinary 
medicine and surgery." It is interesting to note that this last act of 
legislation affecting the welfare of the University is one of generosity 

'lu Barton's Compendium Florie Philadelphiaj published ju 1818 there are numerr 
0Q8 references to flaiiU ijx thi^ Ijptt^ftica,! ^^irden, 



upon the part of the State, lookiuj^ toward enlarged usefulness in the 
conduct of the institution and the farther extension of its benefits among 
the people of Pennsylvania, and that the broad-minded and liberal 
l)olicy adopted by Thomas Penn one hundred and forty years ago has 
been continued down to the iiresent time. In the language of Gen. 
Jolin F. Hartranft, Iwmself a distinguished soldier, governor of the 
State, and president of the board of trustees, in an address at the 
inauguration of the hospital thus established, this policy is " in keep- 
ing with the generosity of the great State which gave this institution 
its'corporate existence, and is to-day, and it is hoped always will be, 
proud of her offspring, the University of Pennsylvania." 

When the impartial historian comes to record the many events in 
which Pennsylvania has reason to take great pride, not the least of 
them will be the fact that in her first constitution, that of 1776, she 
made it a part of the fundamental law that " all useful learning shall 
be duly encouraged and i)romoted in one or more universities." 
1180 16 

Chapter VI. 

As early as 1743, Franklin, as he tells us in his Autobiography, 
sketched a plan for a school designed by him to complete the series of 
those public institutions which he thought essential for promoting the 
prosperity of the Province.' After the plan Jiad been laid aside for a 
few years, in 1749, having obtained the cooperation of several of his 
irieuds, he printed a pamphlet entitled, Proposals Relative to the Edu- 
cation of Youth in Pennsylvania, and took care that it should be ex- 
tensively circulated. A meeting of the most influential citizens having 
been called, it was decided to organize an Academy, and 24 persons, 
among the most considerable of the Province, were associated together 
as a board of trustees to manage its concerns. This was on the 13th 
of November, 1749. These gentlemen raised among themselves and 
their friends toward the endowment of the Academy a subscription of 
£800 a year for five years. The corporation of the city, taking into 
consideration the numerous advantages the city would reaj) by such a 
seminary, voted £200 to be paid at once to the trustees, and £100 
a year for five years. Such was the zeal of the trustees to begin their 
work, that they anticipated the payment of these subscrii)tions by bor- 
rowing for the use of the Academy on their joint bond, £800. They 
were fortunate in securing for the Academy the building which had 
been erected a few years before by the admirers of the Kiev. George 
Whitefield. This building was erected for the charity school which was 
established in 1740, and incidentally to serve as a plaee of worship when 
that celebrated man should hai^pen to be in Philadelphia, and need for his 
ministrations that convenient accommodation which had been refused 
liim in the churches of the city. The enthusiasm excited by Whitefield 
considerably abated, the building had not been paid for, and an arrange- 
ment was made by which the property in Fourth street below Arch street 
was' conveyed to the trustees of the Academy on their undertaking to 
pay the debt on the building, and agreeing that a portion of it should 
always be set apart for the occasional use of itinerant ministers. The 
alterations required to render the building suitable to its new purpose 
Avere so expensive that it was not until the beginning of the year 1751 
that it was occujjied by the Academy. Here Latin was taught by Dr. 
Francis Allison, English by David James Dove, and mathematics by 

>Seep. 215; alsop. 234. 243 


Theopbilus Grew. Among the ushers or tutors was Charles Thomson, 
hiter the Secretary to the Continental Congress. The building secured, 
in December, 1749, it was announced that it would be opened by the 
trustees as " an Academy, wherein youth will be taught Latin, Greek, 
English, French, and German languages, together with history, geog- 
raphy, logic and rhetoric ; also writing, arithmetic, merchants' accounts, 
geometry, algebra, surveying, gauging, navigation, astronomy, drawing 
in perspective, and other mathematical sciences, with natural and me- 
chanical philosophy, etc., agreeable to the constitution heretofore pub- 
lished, at the rate of £4 per annum and 20 shillings entrance." On Jan- 
uary 8, 1750, the schools were opened by a formal visit from the gov- 
ernor and the trustees to hear a sermon from the Rev. Mr. Peters. 
The free school was opened in September. In August, Mr. Dove, 
one of the masters of the Academy, proposed to open a school for 
young ladies at 5 o'clock in the evening, to continue three hours, 
" in which," said the proposals, " will be carefully taught the English 
grammar, the true way of spelling and pronouncing properly, dis- 
tinctly, and emphatically,* together with fair writing, arithmetic and 
accounts. Price, 10 shillings entrance and 20 shillings per quarter." 

The institution thus begun continued to flourish, and July 13, 1753, 
the proprietors granted it a charter,' and from time to time contributed 
£3^000 in money and lands. On May 14, 1755, an additional charter 
created the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, 
with a faculty of the provost, vice-provost, and professors. From that 
time the College had to deal with the State rather than with the city, 
but at that time State and city had a much closer relation than at 
present. As it was not until 1870 that the city and the. Univer- 
sity were again brought into communication, it mjiy be of interest 
to refer to the details of the first grant made by the city for the benefit 
of the institution which was later on to become a College and finally 
the Univerafty. The first charter was granted in July, 1753, and in May, 
1754, Dr. William Smith entereil on his duties as teacher of logic, rhetoric, 
and natural and moral philosophy. Under his leadership it advanced 
so rapidly that at his suggestion the Board of Trustees in December, 
1754, applied for an additional charter, and in May, 1755, it became 
The College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, with 
the i)rivilege of conferring degrees. The services of Provost Smith 
have been admirably set forth in an exhaustive address by one of his 
successors. Provost Still6, whose own service in behalf of the Uni- 
versity naturally recalls the great work done by Dr. Smith. Philadel- 
phia may well i>oint with pride to the succession of able men who have 
followed Provost Smith in the important and responsible post to which 
its first occupant gave suc-h dignity by his position among his fellow 
citizens. In the " Minutes of the Common Council of Philadelphia, 
1704-177(5," Philadeli)hia, 1847, p. 524, under date of July 30, 1750, is 
the following record : 


At a Coiumou Council held at Philadelphia for the City of Philadelphia the 30th day 
of July, 1750. Present : Thomas Lawrence, Esqre., Mayor ; William Allen, Esqre., 
Recorder; SamuelHassell, Edward Shippen, Benj'n Shoemaker, Joseph Turner, Rob- 
ert Strettal, Esquires, Aldermen. . Septimus Robeson, John Stamper, Thos. Hopkin- 
son. Tench Francis, Samuel Rhoads, Wm. Coleman, John Mifflin, Benjamin Franklin, 
Phineas Bond, Thos. Lawrence, Junr., Geoi:ge Mifflin, Common Council Men. 

The Recorder acquainted the Board that there is a Design on Foot for the Erecting 
a Publick Academy and Charity School in this City, for instructing Youth in the 
several Branches of useful Learning, and that divers of the Inhabitants have sub- 
scribed liberally towards it ; But as this Undertaking is attended with a great Ex- 
pence in the Beginning, some further Assistauce is necessary to carry it into Execution 
in the best Manner. And as this Corporation have a considerable Sum of Money in 
the Hands of their Treasurer, and have likewise an Income of about Three Hundred 
pounds p. annum, besides Fines and Forfeitures, the Recorder proposed that it might 
be considered, whether this Design for the Advancement of Learning be not worthy 
of some Encouragement from this Board, as their Circumstances may very well 
aflford it. The Board having taken this Affair into Consideration, and it appearing 
to be a Matter of Consequence, and but a small Number of the Members now present, 
it was thought proper to referr the further Consideration thereof to the next Com- 
mon Council : It is therefore Ordered, that the Members of this Board have notice to 
meet Tomorrow at four a Clock in the Afternoon, to consider of a Proi)osal of con- 
tributing a Sum of Money for the Encouragement of the Academy & Charity School 
now erecting in this City. 

At a Common Council held at Philadelphia the Slst day of Jxily, 1750. Present [in 
addition to those on the preceding day] Anthony Morris, William Plumsted, Esquires, 
Aldermen, Samuel McCall, junr., John Inglis, William Shippen, Thomas B<jnd, 
Nathl. Allen, Joseph Sims, John Wilcocks, Common Council Men. 

The Board resumed the Consideration of the Profuisal made at the last Common 
Council, of contributing a Sxim of Money for the Encouragement of the Academy & 
Charity School now erecting in this city, and a Paper containing an Account of what 
is already done by the Trvistees of the Academy, and what Advantages are expected 
from that Undertaking being laid before the Board, was read, and follows in these 
Words : 

The Trustees of the Academy have already laid out near £800, in the Purchase of 
the Building, and will probably expend nearly as much more in fitting up Rooms 
for the Schools, & furnishing them with proper Books & Instruments for the In- 
struction of Youth. The greatest part of the Money paid & to be paid is subscribed 
by the Trustees themselves, and advanced by them; Many of whom have no children 
of their own to educate, but act from a View to the Publick Good, without Regard 
to sect or party. And they have engaged to open a Charity School within Two Years 
for the Instruction of Poor Children gratis, in Reading, writing and arithmetick, 
and the first Principles of Virtue and Piety. The Benefits expected from this Insti- 
tution are : 

1. That the Youth of Pensilvania may have an opportunity of receiving a good Edu- 
cation at home, and be under no necessity of going abroad for it; Whereby not only 
considerable Expense may be saved to the Country, but a stricter Eye may be had 
over their morals by their Friends and Relations. 

2. That a number of our Natives will be hereby qualified to bear Magistracies, and 
execute other public oftioes of Trust, Avith Reputation to themselves & Country ; 
There being at i>resent great Want of Persons so qualified in the several Counties 
of this Province. And this is the more necessary now to be provided for by the 
English here, as vast Numbers of Foreigners are yearly imported among us, totally 
ignorant of our Laws, Customs and Language. 

3. That a number of the poorer Sort will be hereby qualified to act as Schoolmas- 
ters in the Country, to teach Children Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and the Gram- 


mar of their Mother Tongue, and being of good morals and known character, may be 
recommended from the Academy to Country Schools for that purjjose ; The Country 
HUtfering at present very much for want of good Schoolmasters, and obliged fre- 
quently to employ in their Schools, vicious imported Servants, or concealed Papists, 
who by their bad Examples and Instructions often deprave the Morals or corrupt 
the Principles of the Children under their Care. 

4. It is thought that a good Academy erected in Philadelphia, a healthy place 
where Provisions are plenty, situated in the Center of the Colonies, may draw a num- 
ber of Students from the neighboring Provinces, who must spend Considerable Sums 
yearly among us, in Payment for their Lodging, Diet, Apparel, &c., which will be an 
Advantage to our Traders, Ai'tisans, and Owners of Houses and Lands. This Advantage 
is so considerable, that it has been frequently ~ observed in Europe, that the fixing 
a good School or College in a little inland Village, has been the means of makiug it 
a great Town in a few Years;* and therefore the Magistrates of many Places have 
oflfer'd and given great yearly salaries to draw learned Instructors from other Coun- 
tries to their respective Towns, meerly with a View to the Interests of the In- 
habitants. Numbers of people have already generously contributed sums to carry 
on this Undertaking ; but ethers, well disposed are somewhat discouraged from con- 
tributing, by an Apprehension, lest when the first Subscriptions are expended, the 
Design should drop. The great Expence of such a Work is in the Beginning. If 
the Academy be once well-ojienM, good Masters provided, and good orders estab- 
lished, there is Reason to believe (from many former Examples in other Countries) 
that it will be able after a few years to support itself. 

Some Assistance from the Corporation is immediately wanted and hoped for ; and it 
is thought that if this Board, which is a perpetual Body, take the Academy under their 
Patronage, and afford it some Encouragement, it will greatly strengthen the hands 
of all concerned, and be a means of Establishing this good Work & continuing the good 
Effects of it down to our late Posterity. ITie Board having weigh'd the great Useful- 
ness of this Design, after several Propositions heard & debated, agreed that a Sum of 
Money be given by this Board & paid down, towards compleating the Building which 
the Trustees have purchased, and are now fitting up for the Puri)ose, and likewise 
that a Sum or Sums 1)0 given yearly by this Board, for five years to come, towards the 
support & Maintenance of the Schools under the Direction of the said Trustees. 
Whereupon the following Questions were put and carried in the Affirmative. 

1. Whether this Board will give the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds, to be paid im- 
mediately to the Trustees of the Academy, towards comi)loatiug the Building pur- 
chased ])y the said Trustees for an Academy & Charity School in this City ? Which 
was carried in the Affirmative by a great Majority. 

2. Whether this Board will give Fiftj^ pounds p. annum for five years next ensuing, 
to The Tru8t«e8 of the Academy, towards supporting a Charity School for the Teach- 
ing of poor Children Reading, Writing and Arithmetic? Which was unanimously 
agreed to. * 

3. Whether this Board will give Fifty Pounds p. annum for the five years next 
ensuing, to the Trustees of the Academy, for the Benefit thereof, with Condition that 
this Board shall have a Right of nominating and sending one Scholar Yearly from the 
Charity School, to be instructed gratis in the Academy, in any or all of the Branches 
of Learning there taught f Whicli was carried in the Affirmative by a gieat 

Tlius deliberately the city of Philadelphia set its seal of commenda 
tion on the work of the Academy. Long years elapsed before the Uni 
versity again applied to the city for a further grant, and it is gratifying 
to find that that api>eal also was answered in a way that has enabled the 
Univer.sity to take a fresli of life, while it has secured to the city 
a noble group of l)uildings where higher education is pursued for the 


students of all arts. Among the Penn Papers at tbe Historical Society 
are preserved the essay by Francis Hopkinson written for the exercises 
at the Academy in 1753, and the verses written by Jacob Duch6 and 
recited by him before the lieutenant-governor, the governor, and the 
late governor, and sent to Thomas Penn as a proof of the progress of 
the Academy. As the Penns gave nearly £3,000 to it and to the Col' 
lege, they were naturally interested in its growth. In its Board were 
the governor, the -.chief justice, members of the council, the attorney- 
general, judges of the supreme court and of the common pleas and the 
admiralty, members of the assembly, the mayor and several aldermen 
of the city, and representative clergymen, physicians, and merchants, 
thus showing that every local interest was concerned in the develop- 
ment of the College. ; 

In May, 1756, Dr. Smith prepared a plan of education which in- 
cluded, in Latin, Juvenal, Livy, Cicero, Horace, and in Greek, the Iliad, 
Pindar, Thucydides, Epictetus, and Plato, while mathematics, natural 
philosophy, chemistry, hydrostatics, pneumatics, optics, and astronomy, 
ethics, and natural and civil law and history were made part of the 
course. Within two years the college had 300 pupils, drawn from 
Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and the West Indies, as well as 
from the city and the neighborhood. Its commencements and other 
public exercises were events of local and general importance and were 
attended by officials of city and province. To eke out its uncertain 
income recourse was had, in the fashion of the day, to lotteries, which 
were set on foot for the benefit of the College, but in November, 1761, 
the trustees reported that for several years it had cost about £700 
above its income. Finally Dr. Smith was sent abroad to solicit help, 
and with the powerful support of the Penns, among the largest con* 
tributors, he secured over £6,000 from a long and varied list, including 
the king and other members of the royal family, the archbishops and 
bishops, many of the clergy, a long array of noblemen and statesmen 
(among them Pitt himself), Oxford and Cambridge, and the leading 
towns. A subsequent visit to Charleston produced nearly a thousand 
guineas, and a subscription in Philadelphia produced £1,200 and a 
much larger amount payable at a future time. Jamaica gave about 
£3,000 in answer to an appeal from Dr. Morgan of the medical faculty. 
In 1774 the College was very successfully at work, and tlie commence- 
ment in May, 1775, was attended by the Continental Congress in a 
body and by Washington, who had just been appointed Commander- 
in Chief. The printed proceedings show that professors and students 
were in full sympathy witli the American cause and Congress. 

In June, 1777, the College was closed, and so remained until Septem- 
ber, 1778. In the beginning of 1779 it reopened with more than 200 
pupils, but on February 23 the assembly appointed a committee to in- 
vestigate the present state of the College and Academy of Philadel- 
phia. No report was made, although Provost Smith on March 16 made 


a full and elaborate statement and vindication. Owing to an intima- 
tion from the President of the State no commencement was held in 
1779, and in July, at bis request, auotber committee was appointed. 

In Sei)teniber, bowever, President Eeed called attention of tbe new 
assembly to the manifest attacbment to tbe British Government of tbe 
officers of tbe College. A committee again took tbe matter in band and 
before tbe montb was out reported tbat a bill should be brought in to 
provide funds for the College and to remodel it. Such a bill was passed 
November 27, 1770, declaring the charter of 1755 void, dissolving tbe 
trustees and faculty, and vesting the College estates in a new board, 
and reserving £1,500 a year from the proceeds of the confiscated estates 
for the use of tbe University of the State of Pennsylvania, as the new 
institution was called. 

Tbe act of 1785 is a curious relic of the old method of dealing in land 
a hundred years ago. It gave tbe University, " to effectuate the pious 
and praiseworthy designs of the founders, benefactors, and contribu- 
tors," and to " create a certain fund for tbe maintenance of tbe provost, 
vice-provost, masters, and assistants of the University, and to uphold 
and preserve the charitable school thereof," so many of the confiscated 
estates then unsold and unappropriated as would provide an income 
not to exceed £1,500, computing wheat at tbe rate of 10 shillings per 
bushel. The long list includes a rent charge of 30 bushels of wheat out 
of a tract of 58 acres on German town road and Turner's lane in the 
Northern Liberties; a rent charge of 12^^ bushels (the same to be di- 
vided into twenty parts) out of a tract of land in the manor of Moreland, 
in the county of Philadelphia; a rent charge of 20 bushels of wheat to 
be paid annually oiit of a lot of ground on the northeast corner of Second 
street and Sassafras street; a rent charge of 22 bushels of Avheat, pay- 
able out of a lot on Front street, between Sassafras and Mulberry streets ; 
a rent charge of 135| bushels (the same to be divided into five parts) out 
of two tracts, one of 300 acres, the other of 78 acres, in Lower Merion 
township; a rent charge o1^2^^ bushels out of a lot of 4 acres at Poplar 
lane and Third street in the Northern Liberties; and a rent charge of 
7^ bushels of wheat out of a lot in Blockley township ; a rent charge of 
24 J bushels of wheat out of a bouse and lot on Second street, between 
Walnut and Spruce; in all, over sixty such ground rents were given, 
covering lands in Philadelphia, and among tbe former owners were the 
familiar names of Christopher Sower, whose ground rent in Roxborough 
thus came to the University, and Andrew Allen, and Joseph Galloway, 
and Ja(;ob Duche, tbe younger, who were pupils and graduates and 
trustees, and in other ways connected with the old College, the prede- 
cessor of the University. Besides these ground rents, the State gave 
the University a lot of ground and ferry wharf at the east end of Mul- 
berry street; a lot and house on Sassafras street, between Third and 
Fourth; and a lot and wharf on the east side of Water street, between 
High street and Mulberry street, late the estate of Matthias Aspden, 


whose estate was a fruitful source of litigation later on in the nineteenth 
century. The act also recites that the trustees at the sales of confis- 
cated estates had bought fifteen houses or lots of land, and a number 
of rent charges on land in Philadelphia city or county, then further 
states that all this formidable list, at the prices at which they were sev- 
erally sold, do not, when considered and taken together, amount to 
more than the yearly value of £1,381 5s. 7^<7., computing wheat at the 
rate of 10s. jjer bushel ; and then goes on to confirm these properties to 
the University and to make other provisions for its government. 

A footnote to the law itself records that the Supreme Court in 1795 
held that the trustees of the University were entitled to compensation 
for lands and ground rents reserved to them or bought by their agents, 
in case of eviction under the act of 29th of March, 1779. 

It is a matter of local history that during the period of the worst 
depression of the currency many of the debtors of the University paid 
their importunate creditors in paper, so that the worthless notes had to 
be taken as legal tenders, and thus the provision intended for the 
University at the exxjense of the unfortunate loyalists, whose confis- 
cated lands were to endow it, amounted to little or nothing, and for 
long years the University had almost no income with which to carry 
on its work of education. 

In March, 1789, the assembly repealed the act of 1779, which had 
taken away the charter of the college, thus restoring it once more, but 
in 1791 the college and the University were by law consolidated and 
created the University of Pennsylvania. Although the union was the 
work of the State, with which the city, of course, had nothing to do 
officially, yet in the first board of trustees elected by the two institu- 
tions, then united, were represented the names familiar and prominent 
in the history of Philadelphia — Mifflin, McKean, Sergeant, Carson, 
Rittenhouse, Jackson, lugersoll. White, Shippen, Lewis, Hare, Powel, 
Conyngham, Bingham, Clynier, Bard, and they and their associates 
and their successors from ' that day to this have continued to be men 
honored 4n every ijrofession and finding time from other and engross- 
ing duties to serve the University and forward its work. Philadelphia 
has, indeed, reason to be grateful to those who have enabled the Uni- 
versity to celebrate the centennial of its life of usefulness with due 

Under the act uniting the college and the University one division of 
the trustees was composed of the senior ministers of the six Christian 
denominations. Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, German Reformed, 
Roman Catholic, and Baptist, thus enlisting the interest of their con- 
gregations. From 1791 until 1800 the University remained at the col- 
lege buildings on Fourth street below Arch, when the University 
bought for $41,650 the h)t of ground on Ninth street between Market 
and Chestnut streets, and the building erected on it by the State at a 
cost of $100,000, as a residence for the President of the United States. 


Thus tliat site marked tbe local respect for that great oftice borue by 
Washington and Adams. Now, in our day, the Federal Government 
has made it the site for the great building in which much of its business 
in and for the City of Philadelphia is fitly housed. 

In 1816 the trustees of the University 'sent to the Peuns a resolution 
under seal pledging the Uuiversity at all times to re<;eive two i)ersons, 
of the nominatiun and api)oiutment of the heirs and assigns of the 
Honorable Thomas Penii, deceased, late one of the proprietors of the 
Province of Pennsylvania, to be educated free of all costs or pajTiients 
whatever, to be clothed and maintained at the expense of the Univer- 
sity, and creating a Penn foundation for the purpose. This was the 
final conclusion of a long discussion over the Perkasie lands, of which 
the Penns in llod had made a grant, and with it was connected later on a 
transfer to ihe governor of the commonwealth of the power of nomination 
to these scholarships. It was one of the last evidences of the interest of 
the Penns in the University to which they had been so liberal. For a long 
period the University received little aid either from the city or citizens. 
A legacy of $5,000 from Mr. Elliott Cresson in 1855 was for eighty years 
the only contribution of the kind, and the income of that sum was to 
be devoted to aid in the instruction of drawing, not then taught in the 
University. The first sign of a revived public interest in its work was 
shown in the spring of 1868, when Mr. N. B. Browne, one of the trustees, 
suggested that the city should be asked to give to the University 25 or 30 
acres of the almshouse farm in West Philadelphia, a portion of which 
might be used as a site for the erection of buildings suitable for a pro- 
posed enlarged system of instruction, including a scientific school, and 
that the rest might be sold, as occasion should present, at the value 
increased by the erection of handsome college buildings in the neigh. 
borhoml, the proceeds of the sale to be paid into the endowment fund. 
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees held in June, 18G8, it was 
resolved to appoint a committee to inquire into the expediency of pro- 
curing a new site for the University. In July, 1868, Cluirles J. Stille, 
LL. D., was elected provost, and his election was a pledge that ttie move- 
ment thus inaugurated would be carried forward vigorously. At his 
inauguration as provost in September, his address was an earnest plea 
for a scientific school with a liberal endowment. In October the com- 
mittee on a new site reporte<l in favor of applying to the city for the 
purcliase at a nominal rate of a portion of the almshouse farm from 20 
to 25 acres in extent. The board ailopted the conclusions.of the com- 
mittee, and a petition was accordingly presented in Select Council in 
December, 1868, and by that body referred to the joint committee of 
city c(mncil8 on finance. The provost and some of the trustees advo- 
cated it, and, alter many months' delay, the committee agreed to report 
an ordinance agreeing to sell to the University a tract of land, portion 
of the almshouse farm, «-ontaining rather more than 19 acres, for $8,000 
per acre, and tlie ordinance was repoi t«'d to the Common Council on 


May 13, 1809, and passed. lu Select Council it was passed finally only 
on November 25, 1869, with an amendmenttliattlie price should be $15,000 
instead of $8,000 per acre and that the area should be 10 acres instead of 
19. Common Council amended in turn by fixing the price at $8,000, and 
in this shape it finally passed councils on December 9, and was signed a 
few days after'by the mayer. In May, 1870, the deed was finally exe- 
cuted, and in June, 1871, the corner-stone of the new building was laid. 
In July, 1872, the property at Mnth and Chestnut streets, occupied by 
the University since 1800, was sold to the United States and the money 
was used to pay for the new building. In September, 1872, work was 
begun there. The number of students in the Undergraduate Depart- 
ment was nearly doubled, and money gifts amounting to $580,500 made 
to the Collegiate Department between 1868 and 1880 have shown the 
new spirit with which the city and the citizens of Philadelphia were 
helping to strengthen the University. 

More than fifty years ago, and before the establishment of the Phila- 
delphia High School, it had been proposed to establish a large number 
of scholarships in the Collegiate Department of the University for boys 
of the grammar schools, and negotiations were carried on between the 
Board of Education and the Trustees of the University, but nothing- 
came of the proposal at that time. In 1874 forty free scholarships were 
by resolution of the trustees established in the Towne Scientific School, 
of which ten should be filled each year by pupils from the public schools, 
who should be able to pass a satisfactory examination. This action 
was subject to revocation, and was not based upon any consideration 
given to the University by the city in return. In June, 1877, the 
Charity Schools, dating from 1749, were abolished, and the income of 
the fund hitherto devoted to their use was appropriated to provide in 
the Towne School instruction for children in indigent circumstances. 
The proposal to open the University to pupils who had been trained at 
the public schools, mooted long before, was thus made one of the con- 
ditions of a reunion between the city and the University, and it marks 
the effort of the University under the management of the late John 
Welsh and of Frederick Fraley and their associates in the board of 
trustees, and especially of the provost. Dr. William Pepper, to keep 
touch with the great scholastic population of the city. By ordinance 
of January 24, 1883, the city conveyed to the University a large addi- 
tional tract of land, embracing almost 14 acres. Thi^ acquisition was 
effected by the strenuous efforts of Provost Pepper, who succeeded in im- 
pressing the City Council so deeply with the necessity of ample space 
for the development of a great University and with the importance of 
the University to the city that not a single vote was cast in either 
branch against the ordinance which conveyed the fine territory for the 
valuable consideration of $10,000 and the establishment in perpetuity 
of fifty prize scholarships,. in lieu of the forty free scholarships which had 
previously existed solely by resolution of the Board of Trustees. The 


organic connection thus created between the University and the public 
school system of the city, realizes the ideal so long cherished of having a 
continuous course of education open freely to ambitious students from the 
lowest class in the grammar school through the high school and the 
manual training school, to the highest honors of the University. These 
city prize scholarships are regarded as great re wards' for years of faithful 
effort, and the establishment has served as a powerful incentive to the 
entire public school system of Philadelphia. 

Penns' original -Frame of Government promised public schools, and 
as early as 1683 a school was planned, and in 1G89 the William Penn 
('barter School was organized. It is in active and successful operation 
to-day, and is one of the preparatory schools for the University. The 
proposal made in 1740 to establish a charity school was realized in 1749. 
The city, by its grant in 1750, gave its first official recognition of the 
University, and, after a long lapse of years, the city and the Univer- 
sity have finally been brought into close and indissoluble relations. 

In 1888 the city made a further conveyance of more laud to the Uni- 
versity, on the- condition that a free public library should be erected 
and maintained by the University as a free library of reference, open 
U) the entire community. The formal opening of the splendid Library 
Building on February 7, 1890, testifies the success with which this 
pledge has been kept, by the help of citizens who have contributed the 
sum needed to erect this magnificent addition to the University and 
its work. This building is considered fireproof, has a capacity for 
3.50,000 volumes, and cost $200,000, which was secured by subscriptions 
from friends of the University. 

A further gift of land by the city had occurred in 1872, when city 
councils, chiefly through the earnest exertions of Dr. William Pepper, 
granted nearly G acres of land, contiguous to the other property of the 
University, upon the condition that a general hospital should be erected 
thereon in which 50 free beds for the poor of the city of Philadelphia 
should be forever maintained. Finally, in 1889, the remaining 10 acres 
of the Blakley property were sold by the city at public auction, and 
were secured by the University for the sum of $150,000. By these 
successive steps the property of the University has been increased to 
40 acres in an unbroken stretch. The situation is one of admirable 
vantage. It requires but a glance at the numerous stately buildings 
already erected to carry conviction of the wisdom of the city's policy 
in aiding the University in her determination to secure ample terri- 
tory for the largest expansion of her educational facilities and for the 
accommodation of the swelling thousands of her students. 

It is confidently hoped that tlie cordial relations between the city 
and the University, thus reestablished after an interval of one hun- 
dre<l and thirty years, indicate that in all future time the city will be 
reatly to respond to any projjcr demavrd from the University. 

Under the inspiration given by Provost Still6 and by Provost Pep- 
per, and by the trustees, the list of individual benefactions to the Uni- 


versity has been a rapidly growing one, and the citizens of Philadel- 
phia have kei)t far ahead of the city in the splendor of their gifts. 

As the result of the efforts of the alumni of the medical department 
of the University, culminating in 1871 in a formal appeal on behalf of 
its society to the trustees, not only were the funds- secured from the 
legislature to build the hospital in compliance with the i)ledge given 
to the city, but an endowment fund which now amounts to over $600,000 
has been obtained. 

Individual benefactions have also supi)lied the Gibson Ward, the 
Home for Nurses, the Mortuary Building, and various specific funds for 
the noble work so well carried on by the hospital staff. The Towne 
Scientific School, the Wharton School, the Veterinary Deijartment, the 
Biological Department, the Library, the Department of Hygiene, the 
Archaeological Museum, the Sommerville Collection of Glyptic Art 
all show the generous interest manifested by citizens of Philadelphia in 
the work of the University. Each of these departments is described in 
detail in this volume, but in speaking of the relations of the city and the 
University it is only right that reference should be made to the support 
given by individual citizens to the University. Not only was a large sum 
of money subscribed for the Library Building, but ar number of smaller 
subscriptions have supplied some of the special collections now housed 
within its spacious quarters; noteworthy among these are the Allen, 
Library, the memorial of Prof. George Allen, one of the best scholars 
and teachers in the long roll of the University; the Pott Classical 
Library bought at the suggestion of Prof. John G. R. McElroy (what 
better monument could there be to that able and energetic student, 
graduate, and teacher, whose whole adnlt life was spent in and for the 
University); the Leutsch Classical Library, secured by the exertions of 
Prof. F. A. Jackson and serving to fittingly commemorate his long serv- 
ice in the chair of Latin; the Library of Semitic Languages, procured 
mainly through Prof. Jastrow; the Library of German literature, due to 
the efforts of Prof. Seidensticker, who felt the need ot such a collection 
to sujiplement the workof his chair of German; theBiddleLaw Library, 
the gift of the family of the late George Biddle, esq., one of the brilliant 
juniors of the profession, cut off in his early prime, just as he was winning 
those honors which his great abilities and noble ambition promised him; 
the Evans Rogers Library of Mechanics; the Stephen Colwell Economical 
Library, and the special collections bearing*the names of Seybert, Mc- 
Cartee, Krauth, Crawford, Hayden, Alfred Stille, Wilham Pepper, 
Wetherill, Henry C. Carey, Pemberton Morris. All of these are but 
part of the many gifts that show what the citizens of Philadelphia have 
done and are doing for the University, atoning thus for the neglect of 
the city during many years. The chairs endowed as memorials of indi- 
vidual citizens are^ significant, too, of this revived interest in the work 
of the University. These are the John Welsh Centennial" Chair of His- 
tory and English Literature ; the Whitney Chair of Dynamical Engineer- 
ing; the Adam Seybert Chair of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy; the 


Pepper Cbair of Hygiene; the Thomas A. Scott Chair of Mathematics; 
the John Rhea Barton Professorship of Surgery; then there are the John 
F. Frazer Memorial ; the Hector Tyndale Fellowship, the gift of the 
great English physicist; the Thomas A. Scott Fellowship in Physics; 
the Francis Sergeant Pepper Fellowship in the Graduate Department 
for Women; and a long and lengthening list of prizes; the Henry 
Keed, the Charles P. Krauth, the Sharswood, Meredith, and Pembertou 
Morris prizes in the Law School; the Henry La Barre Jayne prize; the 
George W. Childs and Anthony J. Drexel prizes; the Yardley jmze; 
the Van Nostrand prize; the Society of the Alumni prizes; tlie Phi 
Kappa Sigma prizes; the prizes given and awarded by the Faculties 
of the Medical School, the Law School, and the College Department. 
All of these emphasize the names of those whose work in and for 
the University is gratefully remembered. Special mention must be 
made of the pioneer gift in behalf of the higher education of women 
made by Mrs. Bloomfield Moore; and of the liberal benefactions, both 
in money and buildings, made by Joseph M. Bennett, esq., to the 
graduate department for women. Students, insti-uctors, professors, 
trustees, and others whose interest and substantial sympathy in the 
work of the University, are thus borne on the honor roll of the Uni- 
versity, and it serves alike to attest what it has done in the past, 
and what it needs to carry on its work to-day, and what are its pos- 
sibilities of growth in the future, if only it is supplied liberally with 
the means of advancing its teaching in all directions. Each new 
branch of its work is supported by contributions from citizens. The 
dynamical laboratory owes its existence to the gifts of those whose 
names represent the great industrial establishments of Philadelphia, 
thus attesting their interest in the higher education wliich the Uni- 
versity now offers to the students of mechanical and industrial arts. 
The contributors to the laboratory of exi)erimental psychology show 
by their gifts that the work of the University is thus by public 
supix)rt of individual citizens enabled to keep touch with the latest 
developments of purely scientific inquiry. The maternity hospital 
fund, the contributions to the hospital, to the Dr. William Pepper 
Medical Library, for the physiological laboratory for plants, and for 
a chair of Christian ethics, all go to show that while the needs of the 
University are growing, so, too, is the recognition of its claims alike 
upon the city and its citizens. To them it must look for that impulse 
which alone can keep it supplietl with the means of carrying on its 
work. The latest i)lan calls 'for a liberal endowment of a school 
and library of American history, and the very fact that the teachers 
of that important subject are the authors of this appeal, gives it a 
strong foundation, for who better than they can know the needs of 
their own students and of the public for the means and opportunities of 
instruction on a subject of such vital importance ? A successful answer 
will be the best test of the establishment of the right relation of the 
Universit;y and tlie city and citizens of Philadelphia. 

Chapter VII. 

As the history of the University is the subject of a distinct paper in 
this volume, in which are rehearsed in proper detail all matters of fact 
and date, I do not propose here to set them forth again, but rather to 
determine, if possible, the purpose with which the foundation of this 
department of the University system -was undertaken, the principles 
that guided its founders and first administrators in arranging and ad- 
justing its educational machinery, the influence of these principles in 
shaping the after course of the institution, and the new developments 
and wider scope given them in these later years. Naturally our chief 
interest fixes itself upon the opening and closing periods of the Univer- 
sity's history, because in the first of thes?i there is the spectacle of a 
great and inevitable need making itself felt and calling forth the best 
efforts of earnest, thoughtful men to supply it; and of such men with 
only the traditions of the Old World to guide them, grappling with 
this problem, and endeavoring to work out a solution of it that should 
take into account the new conditions and altered circumstances of the 
young and grooving colony (and it seems hardly necessary to say that 
these new conditions and altered circumstances presented a more seri- 
ous difficulty in matters educational than in things material or eco- 
nomic), and because in the latter of these periods we have to trace the 
introduc'tion of new processes incident partly upon the large and sud- 
den development of physical science, and partly upon the closer study 
of proper educational methods. This latter I have called the closing 
period. It is so, of course, only in a chronoh)gical sense, because it has 
extended up to the moment of this writing. Strictly and historically 
it is only a beginning, the beginning of a new period in the course ot 
the University not to be defined by the present moment, but to extend 
beyond it until some new development gives us a new date. Nor must 
it be supposed that such division into periods marks any real break in 
the continuity of history. We shall find, I think, that every genuine 
educational theory and the practice of it bears within it two elements — 
a permanent, based upon the unchanging facts of human nature, and a 
variable, the outcome of the circumstances of a particular period. Of 
these the permanent persists and forms the cord that binds the total his- 
tory into a unity, but the variable with its changes marks off the dates by 
which we reckon. It is only when this variable element has outlived the 



days of its usefulness, has fallen from the level of a rational system to 
that of a mechanical routine, and has thus, from lack of thought, come 
to be confounded with the essential and permanent, that any change, 
however accordant with prcAaous history, seems to partake of the 
nature of a revolution, and to betoken a complete severance of historic 
sequence. It may be that the innovators haA^e a like inadequate notion 
of their own work ; that they, too, mistake for permanent in their own 
scheme what is but temporary, and rate for temporary in the scheme 
what would reform something that is permanent, but time will take 
charge of this, and will surely rectify their mistakes. An educational 
institution is not a fabric to be taken up or pulled down or rebuilt, or 
fundamentally remodeled. It is a growth with its roots in the past, and 
the only way to break with that past is to kill the institution- itself, 
and with it probably the innovations proposed. 

A feeluig that the time had come in the growth of the colony when a 
determined effort was to be made to provide its citizens with the means 
of education at home, in order that a sufficient number of properly 
trained men might be at hand to supply the increasing need of intelli- 
gent magistrates, merchants, teachers, and citizens, and a sense that 
just then, and perhaps for sOnie time to come, public provision was not 
likely to be made to meet this want, led a number of the public spirited 
citizens of Philadelphia, with Franklin among them, to lay their hands 
to the work of establishing an Academy. Having themselves liberally 
subscribed to the necessary funds and secured other private subscrip- 
tions, besides a sum of £200 and an annual contribution of £50 fronj 
the council of Philadelphia, and £100 more fioni merchants in Lojidon, 
the trustees felt able to announce for January, 1750, the ox)ening of an 
academy, " Wherein youth will be taught Latin, Greek, English, French, 
and CJerman languages, logic and rhetoric, also writing, arithmetic, mer- 
chants' a(;counts, geometry, algebra, surveying, gauging, astronomy, 
drawing in perspective, and other mathematical sciences, with natural 
and mechanic philosophy, etc., agreeable to the constitution heretofore 
published, at the rate of £4 per annum and 20 shillings entrance." As 
the i)aper the trustees addressed to the common council of Philadelphia 
shows, and as Dr. Smith, the first provost, expressly testifies in his 
historic account of the foundation, an element of danger was felt at this 
time to be present in the rapid infiux of non-English colonists, the Ger- 
mans, who have left so deep a mark upon the State of Pennsylvania. 
It was not only necessary to provide educated men for magistrates, etc., 
but it was imperative early to set in operation some influence that 
should bring the colonists into unity and harmony; the Germans nuist 
be Anglicized, at least so far as to lead them to comprehend the insti- 
tutions and traditions of the people amongst whom they had come to 
live, and to habituate them to the thought that they and the English 
around them were to form one people in mind and heart as well as in 
habitation, and no means, it was seen, could be so effectual to this end 


as the institution of such an academy whence a snpi^Iy of properly- 
trained teacliers, and it might be preachers as well, could be put forth 
among these dajigerous, because foreign, elements. It is not a matter 
for surprise, therefore, to find both Franklin and Dr. Smith actively 
interested a little later in the Avork of the society for educating the 
Germans in Pennsylvania. The work of this society was distinct from 
that of the College, but the relation of the College to it was, and was in- 
tended to be, more intimate than a merely personal one through its 
])rovost and most eminent trustee. The society was needed to meet 
the exigencies of the moment, but there can be but little doubt that 
both Franklin and Dr. Smith hoped and expected that the growth of 
the College would render the existence of a separate society unneces- 
sary, or at any rate would furnish them with the teachers that just then 
they were compelled to take where they could find them. The Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania, it may be fairly said, had its birth in a scheme" 
for what we have lately learned to call " university extension." This 
probably accounts for the instruction in the German language that was 
offered in the prosiDectus of the new Academy. It will account also for 
some other peculiar facts to be related farther on. 

I have anticipated chronological order in using the term " College;" but 
according to Dr. Smith's explicit statement, the views of the trustees did 
not stop with the establishment of an Academy; it was their idea to es- 
tablish this at least, and then to feel their way towards something 
higher; a College it was hoped, might be reared on the basis of the 
Academy, if it should succeed in demonstrating its usefulness and so win 
its way to favor and patronage. Three years after the opening of the 
academy, a pamphlet entitled '^ A General Idea of the College of Mi- 
rania," written by the Rev. William Smith and intended as a " sketch 
for a ])ropose(l college in New York," was sent by its author to Frank- 
lin, then President of the Board of Trustees of the newly founded 
Academy. This pamphlet produced a marked effect-on Franklin, and 
led to a correspondence between him and Mr. Smith, which culminated 
in the appointmentof thclatteras provost of the College. The Academy 
had prospered as well as its most sanguine friends could desire, and in 
July, 1753, had obtained from the proprietors of the colony a charter 
of incorporation together with a gitt in lands and money amounting to 
£3,000. It is quite clear that the trustees were already bent on realiz- 
ing at an early moment the further development of the project they had 
undertaken. Evidently, too, they felt as wise men would, that the proper 
head for the College must be found before they took steps to give their 
Academy the more ambitious name. Their action in this matter might 
well be a lesson to us of the present day and to all generations to come. 
The College or University idea must first be secured in the mincrof a 
competent administrator before the venture is made of issuing any 
promissory note to the public; otherwise, when the public demands, 
as it is entitled to do, fulfillment of the promise given, the means may 
1180 17 


not be at hand for paying the debt. Unfortunately this lesson of their 
exanijile was but too soon to be forgotten by their own successors. 

On May 24, 1754, the Kev. William Smith (afterwards Dr. Smith) 
was " inducted provost of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, and 
Professor of Natural Philosophy," and the very next day he " commenced 
teaching in the philosophy class, also ethics and rhetoric to the ad- 
vanced pupils." TheusebyDr. Smith in his diary of the word "college," 
in the title of the institution, shows what he was expected to do; for 
the addition of this Avord to the corporate title was^ not authorized by 
charter until May 14, 1755, Avhen authority to confer degrees was also 

in an elaborate paper, Dr. Smith has himself set forth the history of 
the Academy up to the time when he took charge of it, the scheme of 
instruction which he had made out for the Academy and the College 
that was to stand upon it, and, more precious and interesting than 
these, valuable as they are, the principles that guided and determined 
his action in framing his system. As might be expected — as, indeed, 
must always be the case in any wise scheme — the principles are broader 
than their embodiment in the curriculum. There is much in the cur- 
riculum that to-day would be changed, owing to altered circumstances, 
further development "bf special branches, a clearer insight into the na- 
ture of some; but the principles stand firm as ever, and, indeed, defy 

It is hoped [he says] that the student may be led through a scale of very easy 
ascent, till finally renderotl capable of thinking, writing, and acting well, which are 
the grand objects of a liberal education. 

Nothiug can l)e jiroposed by any scheme of collegiate education but to lay such a 
gen«'ral foundation in all branches of literature as may enable the youth to perfect 
themselves in those particular parts t(» which their liusiness or genius may after- 
wards lead them; and scarce anything has more obstructed the advancement! of 
sound learning than a vain Imagination that a few years spent at college can render 
youth such absolute masters of sciencfe as to absolve them from all further study. 

And though wo flatter ojirselves we shall enrich our country with many minds 
that are liberally accomplished, and send out uoue that may justly bo termed barren 
or nnimproved, yet we hope that the youth committed to our care will, neither at 
college nor afterwards, rest satisfied with such a general knowledge as is to be ac- 
qnire<l from the public lectures and exercises. We rather trust that those whose 
ta«to is once formed for the acquisition of solid wisdom will think it their duty and 
most rational satisfaction to accoujpUsh themselves still further by manly persever- 
ance in private study and meditation. 

The hope here expressed, the value of which as an aim constantly 
present to the mind of the teacher can not be overestimated, was not 
allowed to remain a hope, or even left to the chances of individual 
effort on the part of the professors. Distinct provision was made for 
its realization by supplementing the curriculum with a copious Hst "of 
choice, approved writers in the various branches of literature, which 
will be easily understood when once a foundation is laid in the books 
to be used as classics under the several lectures. This list is only 


meant as a private library, to be consulted occasionally in the lectures 
for the illustration of any particular j)art, and to be read afterwards for 
completinfj the whole." This, in its way, embodies the idea, and was at 
that time doubtless the only feasible substitute for pest- graduate courses 
of study; and I can not refrain from saying here that nuiuy a student in 
later days would have been thankful for such an official list, or, in de- 
fault of that, for some clear indication that such a list could easily be 
furnished if desired. More questionable is this : 

They (the trustees) were very sensible that the knowledge of words, without 
making them subservient to the knowledge of things, could never be considered as 
the basis of education. To lay a foundation in the languages was very necessary as 
a first step, but without the superstructure of the sciences would be but of little 
use for the conduct of life. 

The idea that language is crystallized thought in words and word- 
forms, as well as in the concatenations of words we call sentences; that 
literature is the expression of thought, meditation, and aspiration by 
means of this thought material, and that, as thought is of the innermost 
essence of humanity, these, its outward sensible manifestations, must 
be the most powerful instruments of human education, was perhaps 
hardly to be looked for in Br. Smith's day ; it may indeed be said that 
to the loud claim made in the name of physical science that in it is 
to be found the be-all and end-all of human education, has been in 
these latter days due the clearer perception of the true foundation of 
literature and language in a human scheme for human education. And 
it is curious to note that the first serious departure from Dr. Smith's 
scheme, and the first nearer approach to the present system lay just in 
the more independent position that was given to the study of languages. 
A fact that strikes one-as curious and interesting in view of recent dis- 
cussions is that the College course as he laid it down embraces only a 
period of three years; with reference to this he says: "No doubt the 
term of three years" will appear "too scanty a period for the execution 
of everything here proposed, and it must be acknowledged that a longer 
period would be necessary. But circumstances must always be regarded 
in the execution of every plan." This same question of three versus 
four years in the arrangement of College work we shall find coming up 
again; and it is i)roof of the far-reaching influence of Dr. Smith in de- 
termining the after course of the College that we find him cited (as an 
evident authority) on one side of the question in a way that shows 
clearly he had been appealed to by the other likewise. 

An examination of the details of his curriculum is peculiarly interest- 
ing, and the more so as it evidently formed the basis of the College 
course down to 1828, and its influence can be distinctly felt as late as 
1847. Particularly noteworthy is the fiict that while several of the 
branches inserted by Dr. Smith disappeared in the various reorgani- 
zations of the course it was only (with one exception) to reappear later 
on, and to take upon themselves such enlarged and independent devel- 


opment as to pass for iuiiovations that savored no little of the revolu- 
tionary. Our colleagues of the Wharton School and of the School of 
Biology had a legitimate predecessor in Dr. Smith. The scheme is laid 
in three parallel columns, representing ea(;h one of the three daily lec- 
tures. Each one of these columns evidently embraces a dji«;tinct prov- 
ince in the scheme of education, though in the second year the subjects 
proper to the second column have perforce overflowed slightly into the 
tirst. In the tirst lecture, after a preliminary training in logic and 
metaphysics to develop his powers of thought, the student is to be 
brought to a knowledge and i)ractical sense of his position as a man 
and a citizen; and this by a course embracing ethics, natural and civil 
law, an introduction to civil history, to laws and government, tt) trade 
and commerce. By the second he is led up through an extended course 
in mathematics (including conic sections and fluxions) to the study of 
external nature in the branches of mechanics, physics, astronomy, nat- 
ural history of vegetables and animals, chemistry, fossils, and agricul- 
ture. While he was thus gaining the necessary elements for a xu'oper 
appreciation of his condition as a member of the human race, and as 
the inhabitant of a world, subject to physical laws, the student in the 
third lecture (or period) was getting a training that should prepare him 
for the a<^tive exertion by tongue and pen of whatever abilities he pos- 
sessed, so that the knowledge gained in the first two might be made 
available for the good of himself and his fellows through the skill ac- 
ipiired in the third. In this period was given the course in ancient 
langimges and coni2)osition (except that Latin ami English exercises 
occupied also the first two tenns of the first i)eriod in the freshman 
year); the first year was devoted to reading the Iliad, Juvenal, Pindar, 
Cicero, Livy, Thucydides ar Eurii)ides, and Dionysius, with occasional 
declamations; the second to rhetoric and thecritcal reading of (pseudo) 
Longinus, Horace's Ars Poetica, Aristotle's Poetics, selections from 
Quintilian, followed by Cicero pro Mihme and Demosthenes de Corona, 
with comi)ositions in imitation of them; the third to "moral and legal 
works parallel with the studies of the first period; parallel with ethics 
Were read Epictetus, Cicero de Ofticiis, Tusculan's Disputations, Xeno- 
phon's Memorabilia; j^arallel with the course in laws and government, 
Plato de Legibus, Grotius de Jure Belli et Pacis. And after the first 
and third hn^tures had thus been brought into unison and harmony, 
the last term of the senior year was utilized to bring the three 
IK'rio<ls into their proper relation by compositions and declamations on 
subjects given in the first two Jiccording to the princii)les developed in 
the third. Even this hasty examination of the scheme makes it abun- 
dantly evident that Dr. Smith had a very distinct aim in laying it out, 
a i)oint worth i)ausing to consider, for it would be hard to find such 
definition of jmrixjse in many a college course. He would send forth 
young men equipped with knowledge of themselves, their fellows, and 
of the natural order of the world, and able to impart this knowledge to 


others, l)oth as teachers and as writers. And wliat is equally worthy 
of remark, he was not satisfied with layinj^ down independent coirrses 
to this end; these courses nmst interlock and mutually sui>i)ort one 
another, and ultimately converge into one locus as it were, so as to im- 
press upon the minds of the young in very practical fVishion the essen- 
tial unity of the whole, and at the same time helj) to give unity and 
singleness of purpose to any after efforts they might make, as he was 
anxious they should, in the direction of self-culture. 

The excellent provision he made for this further pri)secution of study 
by lists of standard works has already been adverted to. Equally re- 
markable is the comprehensiveness of the scheme. If we regard the 
University as being what the modern Greeks in their mistranslation 
have called it, a TtavziriffT-qiuuv^ we are surprised to find how completely 
a compartment was prepared for each of the many specialties that have 
since grown from the small germs that then existed. It is true we miss 
any distinct provision for the study of literature; but one side of this 
study, the rhetorical, was certainly made much of in the teaching of the 
ancient classics and several at least of the works recommended for 
private reading, the Spectator, Locke, Lord Bacon, Dryden's Essays 
and. Prefaces, were such as could not fail to communicate more than a 
tinge of literary culture. So that it is not too much to say that there 
was a seed here from which the study of English literature might natu- 
rally grow, and that the linguistic and literary study of Latin and 
Greek could easily be grafted upon the rhetorical pursuit of them here 
arrived at. As to the English tongue indeed, Dr. Smith was so earnest 
in his persuasion that it was of prime importance, and that in the 
English universities it had been too much neglected, that we may be 
sure, had he lived in our day, he would have been amongst the. most 
zealous laborers to secure it a worthy place in the college he helped to 
found. Language and literary form were, to his mind, mere instruments 
of expression, tools that one might use clumsily or skillfully, and as such 
only did they claim a place in a college course. He was not alone in 
his view in those days (there are some who hold it yet, the more's the 
pity) and we need not be surprised that his beliefs took evident shape 
in the curriculum. 

Below this, but in Dr. Smith's view forming part of the College, was 
a Latin and Greek school in four forms or stages, in which were read 
Eutropius, Nepos, Metamorphoses, Virgil, Caesar, Sallust, Horace, Ter- 
ence, Livy, the Greek Testament, Lucian, and Xenophon or Homer. 
In the last form English writing, original (themes, letters, descrip- 
tions, and characters) and translated from Latin " with great regard 
to punctuation and the choice of words," received special attention ; 
English and Latin orations " are to be delivered, with proper grace, 
both of elocution and' of gesture;" arithmetic was begun. " Some of 
the youth," he says, " go through these stages in three years, but most 
require four and many five years, especially if they begin under 9 


or 10 years of age. It may be inferred from tliis that the average age 
of students on entering the philosophy schools (we should say the 
course in arts) was from 13 to 14 years. 

In the distribution of the work the three years of the philosophy 
schools ^or course in arts) were assigned to the provost and vice-pro- 
vost, professors of natural and moral philosophy respectively; the 
Latin and Greek schools to the professor of languages, with the aid of 
tutors. The i)rofessors of English and oratory and of mathematics 
taught only in the Academy. 

Such was the conception of the College that Dr. Smith endeavored 
to realize in his administration. Fortunately, he was a man who pos- 
sessed not only a head to conceive, but administrative talent to carry 
into effect what his head had so well planned. The plan was thoroughly 
carried (mt in its details. Of this we have not only his own explicit 
statement, but independent evidence in the notebooks, still preserved, 
of tlie students in the branches of natural and moral philosophy. 

The prosperity promised by the excellence of the plan, and the vigor 
of the provost, and verified in the growing number of the students, 
was interrui)te4 by the turbulent days of the Revolution, and worse 
yet, absolutely cut short by the unjust and injudicious action of the 
legislature of Pennsylvania. Ceiait plus qu^un crime, e'etait une 
faille. On the most absurd grounds the charter of the College was 
taken away in 1779, the Board of Trustees and the faculty dissolved, 
and a new institution incorporated under the style of the " University 
of the State of Pennsylvania," with a new Board of Trustees and a 
new faculty. The difticult days of the Revolution might have been 
tided over, and the setback given by the British occupation of Phila- 
delphia retrieved by tlie tried vigor of the provost with the prestige 
already won, but it was quite another thing to win the confidence of 
the public for a new institution and an untried administration; and 
matters doubtless were not improved to people's minds when they 
thought over the process of the action and the causes that gave birth 
to the new University. In ] 789 this action was reversed and the 
charter restored, but it was soon felt that there was not room in the 
small ccmimunity for the restored College and the rival that had sup- 
l)Ianted it. In 1791 a union of the two was effected under the name 
and title of the " University of Pennsylvania." One-half of the Board 
of Trustees was taken from the University of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. A new faculty was to be chosen by the new Board of Trustees. 

The course was extended t« four years. P^xactly how this was done is 
not clear, but there is evidence to show that it was partly due to the 
incorporation into the course in arts of the last " stage or form" in Dr. 
Smith's Latin and Greek schools, foi- in 1810, when we first come upon 
a statement of the requirements for admission, we find them more than 
fulfilled (except as to arithmetic) by the studies in the third " stage or 
form " of these schools. There must, however, have been a slight shifting 


of position in some of ttie studies of the course itself. In no other way 
does the course appear to have been modified ; the studies remained 
the same; the end in view was unchanged. There was, however, a 
redistribution of the work of teadiing. The professors of natural and 
moral philosophy were henceforth to teach only the two upper classes; 
the professors of mathematics and of belles-lettres (a new title replacing 
that of English and oratory), the two lower classes. These four con- 
stituted the college faculty. The professor of mathematics had charge 
of all the pure mathematics; tiie iirofessor of belles-lettres, of rhetoric 
and the reading of Latin and Greek authors, with a view to instruc- 
tion in polite letters; the professor of natural philosophy, of the applied 
mathematics and the natural sciences as mapped out by Dr. Smith; 
the professor of morad philosophy, besides his philosophic iustructioii, 
was to read such Latin and Greek classics as bore upon his prox)er field. 
The course is nowhere laid down so far as I have been able to find; but 
these facts warrant the statement already made that it was essentially 
Dr. Smith's. The principles are evidently his, and the changes are fully 
accounted for by the addition of a year to the course, and of the two 
professors to the faculty. The professor of languages, as before, was 
merely the " head of a grammar school." It may be worth mentioning 
Jiere as a proof that the University felt itself to have fallen heir to the 
works of tlic Society for p]ducating the Germans in Pennsylvania, .that 
the new trustees established a grammar school where youth could be 
taught Latin and Greek through the German tongue, and chose a pro- 
fessor of German and Oriental languages to be the head of it. When it 
came to the election of professors, Dr. Smith's name was rejected by 
a small majority. Dr. Ewing, who had been provost of the late Univer- 
sity, was elected provost and professor of natural philosophy in the new. 
There are not wanting signs to show that this was predetermined. It 
was stipulated (before any name had been mentioned) that the professor 
of moral ])hilosophy should take charge of such branches of natural 
pliilos()i)hy as the incumbent of that chair "might not be able to 
manage." This could hardly apply to Dr. Smith, as his j)revious record 
shows, but it was not long before complaints arose as to the insufficiency 
of Dr. Ewing's instruction, particularly as to the performance of illus- 
trative experiments. 

From whatever cause their choice proceeded, they had ample occupa- 
tion in regretting its results, though it was long unfortunately before 
they reached a clear view of the mistake they had made. For the 
doubly difhcult task of resuscitating a defunct college, there was more 
need than ever of one man of clear head and strong will, able to see the 
right end and the right way to it, and able as well to get both trustees 
and faculty to take that right way to that right end. It was of no avail 
10 adopt a scheme, however wise, if that scheme was to be left to itself; 
no scheme is worth more than the mind and the will of him who is 
oenind it; and most emphatically is this true of a scheme of education. 


That the first duty of a Board of Trustees is to put such a man at the 
baek of their plan, that he may put the life's blood of his own energy, 
and the rational methods of his own wisdom into it, the history of the 
course in arts proves. Trustees have proi)er functions of their own; 
they can not take his upon themselves with safety. Practically the 
coui-se in arts was now without such a head; and the natural results 
soon disclosed themselves. Everything seemed to go wrong. The 
faculty were not at one; the students murmured, their parents mur- 
mured; the trustees, without experience in education, what could 
they do? One thing at least — and they did it. They appointed com- 
mittees of investigation. Before the century was out, we find one of 
these committees helplessly wondering whether the board might not 
itself be responsible for the lack of success, because they had drawn up 
no definite scheme of instruction! What better could they have done 
than what they did; adopt the excellent schemes that lay before them 
ready made to their hands, if only they had not neglected to put at the 
head of the College the one man who could put meaning into every line 
of it. The very comparison they made with the success of the Medical 
Course might have taught them a lesson; that course was certainly not 
of their devising; and the success that attended it was due to the quali- 
ties to be found in the faculty, and to that intelligent unity of counsels 
and of efforts which were secured to it by the professional character of 
its instruction. It is curious to see how their minds kept going back to 
Dr. Smith's scheme; but it is ever the scheme, not the man, they think 
of. On March 4, 1810, they ii-amed new and detailed rules for the 
guidance of the professors and thus tried to lay the ghost that haunted 
tliem. The}' had departed from Dr. Smith's scheme by severing the 
pure mathematics from the chair of Natural Philosophy, and as the pro- 
fessors who hehl these chairs had quarreled, there could be no reason- 
able doubt that a return to his scheme in this particular was necessary; 
these chairs at one, as they must now be, all would go well. But the 
ghost would not down ; all did not go w ell. A still further return must 
be made. 

It is true there is no mention of Dr. Smith, but at a later period, when 
this same matter came up again, his name is mentioned, and his author- 
ity appealed to. They luid already done away with the professor of 
mathejnatics; but neither this nor the new rules they had framed had 
brought any increase of numbers or of reputation. Now they would 
again reduce the number of classes from four to three. There should 
now be three classes and three professors: a professor of natural phil- 
osophy and mathematics, a professor of moral jjliilosophy, and a pro- 
fessor of languages; the duties remained as before, the professor of 
languages taking the place of the professor of belles-lettres. They 
would require for admission Cassar, Virgil, Latin composition, the Gos- 
l)els, and arithmetic. If this be com])ared with the forms and stages in 
Dr. Smith's Latin and Greek Schools it will at once be seen that, except 


as to arithmetic, liis fliird-forin boys could now enter college. In so 
far, therefore, they had lowered the standard whi(;h he had set up and 
successfully maintained. The three years took their fancy, as it has 
taken many people's lancy since, and they saw in it a panacea for all 
the ills they were suffering from. This was in 1810. For a brief space 
they contein])lated their work with satisfaction ; but within fifteen years 
the old round began again. Success would not come at their call, and 
something must be done; this time as we shall see, it was to be 
something desperate. Committees of investigation now report their 
belief that the reduction of the course to three years had been a 
mistake. Dr. Smith (they quote him by name), it is true, had laid 
down a three years' course, but he had expressly stated that this 
was but a concession to circumstances. Five years even he would 
have had, could he have managed it. Four years certainly is little 
enough for the work to be done ; other colleges have four years and 
succeed; so may we. It w<mld be well, too, to restore the chair of 
mathematics. Nor would they stop here; there should be a new model, 
anew course: Greek and Latin, indispensable foundations of all educa- 
tion, should be the chief studies of the first two years; mathematics 
(though not too exclusively) of the third ; mind and matter of the 
fourth. Let any one who will examine Dr. Smith's course, and he will 
see where this distribution of subjects came from. They then proceeded 
to fill in the details ; but they never reached a vote on its adoption. For, 
after electing a i)rofessor of mathematics, as had been determined, they 
came to the conclusion that no tinkering with the course could do any 
]>ossible good, unless they had first secured the right men. To this 
task they addressed themselves. There should be no half measure. 
A complete break must be made with the unfortunate traditions they 
had themselves been mainly responsible for creating; to this end they 
removed the whole faculty except the newly elected professor of math- 
ematics and Prof. Patterson, who resigned, and to the regret of the 
Board declined a reelection. Now for the first time is heard the expres- 
sion of the truth that a man, whose name, reputation, experience, and 
ability would command public confidence, must be chosen for the posi 
tion of Provost. Their choice fell upon one of their own number, the 
Rev. William A. De Lancey, d. d., who was elected professor of moral 
philosophy. But as the chair of moral philosophy involved many 
branches besides those which its name would now seem to imply, and 
as it was conceived necessary in order to clotha the office of Pro- 
vost with proper dignity, that he should teach none but the senior 
class, an assistaut professor of moral philosophy was appointed to 
teach the lower classes. The faculty, as now constituted, included a 
professor of moral philosophy, who was also Provost, a i)rofessor of 
mathematics, who was also vice-provost, a professor of languages, a 
professor of natural philosophy and chemistry (so the title was now 
worded), and an assistant professor of moral philosophy. 


For the new faculty a new course was provided. The requirements 
for admission were set about to the standard Dr. Smith liad prescribed, 
those in aritlunetic being slightly raised. Mathematics and natural phi- 
losophy were differently distributed, the former being now, with mechan- 
ics, spread over the whole four years, and the latter over the last three. 
The department of Moral Philosophy still covered rhetoric and cognate 
subjects, as well as natural and political law, history and geogxaphy. 
But i^; was in the department of Languages that the most striking 
changes appeared. A relic of its old subservience to rhetoric appears 
at first in the assignment of Cicero's Orations to the assistant professor 
of moral philosophy in the freshman year. That this, however, was 
more due to a tradition that he was the i)roper i^erson to help the pro- 
fessor of languages than from a clear sense of the meaning of his services 
in this line, may be inferred from the fact that to him was given up also 
till 1831, the subject of Roman and Grecian antiquities. From 1831 on, 
the latter subject goes over to the professor of languages, and the ora- 
tions of Cicero disappear; written translations from ancient authors in 
the department of Rhetoric preserve a faint trace of the relation as late 
as 1847. Except in these particulars the languages have come to stand 
upon their own feet, as having a right in themselves to a place in the 
college courses, instead of being humble handmaidens to moral and nat- 
ural philosophy, and means for learning the rules of rhetoric. Such 
works as (pseudo) Longinus, Horace's Ars Poetica, Cicero de OflBciis, 
Epictetus, continued to be read, but at times that loosed them from all 
connection with other studies. Languages with rhetoric had furnished 
Dr. Smith with the means of gathering into one and knitting firmly 
together the strands of his course; with the breaking looseof languages 
from this close union, and their starting into an indei)endent career 
in the college course, the first step was made towards a like independ- 
ence of all departments, which should make each within its sphere an 
absolute law unto itself, instead of a unit in a general plan, to the laws 
of which one and all must humbly submit. The subjects of trade and 
commerce, of agriculture (apparently), of Government, disappeared 
entirely. The pubUcation of annual catalogues appears to date from 
the year 1828 ; a promise to this effect is contained in an undated circu- 
lar (which a comi>arison with the records of the Board of Trustees 
proves to have been issued in 1828), signed by the president and secre- 
tary of tlie board. In 1831 appears the first recognition of a depart- 
ment of English Literature, this being put in charge of the assistant 
professor of moral i)hilosoi)hy. Readings in prose and poetry comprised 
at first the whole of his activity in this direction. A steady dev;Blop 
ment of this subject dates from 1835, when the style of the chair was 
altered to rhetoric and English literature; along with this went a large 
progress in the historical instruction which was confided to the same 

In 1841 lectures on English literature, delivered to the senior class. 


have taken the place of the readings in prose and poetry with the fresli- 
men, and by 1813 history has ceased to be a summary reading given in 
a single year, and we find in its place ancient history in the freshman 
year, modern history in the sophomore year, and Arnold's lectures on 
modern history in the junior year, while the senior year caps the whole 
with lectures on Constitutional history and laws of the United States. In 
1853 the style of the chair is again changed; now it reads Belles Lettres 
and the English Language and Literature, as the title shows, and an 
examination of the course confirms it; the English language, no longer a 
grammatical study, nor even as a vehicle for expression, but as a branch 
of philology had at last conquered a recognition it was never to lose. 
Tlie enlargement of the chair in this direction necessitated a shifting 
of some subjects (International Law, Constitutional Law of tlie United 
States) back to their okl j>lace under the chair of Moral Philosophy, 
Simultaneously Political Economy, (the modern correspondent of Dr. 
Smith's Trade and Commerce) made its first appearance. These are the 
most important signs of progress towards "the new times a coming." 
Little significance can ^be attaclied to the chair of geology and miner- 
alogy that existed from 1838 to 1845, but with no perceptible effect on 
the course. Science and philosoi)hy remained stationary, or nearly so, 
but languages had made a decided advance in tliat one modern language 
with its literature, and that the one with the best right on its side, 
had obtained a place in the college course. It must not be forgotten, 
however, that the first break in the more modern direction had been 
made in 1828 by the de])artment of Ancient Languages; nor had this 
remained altogether stationary since then. Till 1844-'45 no changes 
had occurred, except in minor points of detail, but in that year a second 
break was made in the old traditions with the advent of Prof. Allen. 
The last relics of the rhetorical character of the original course were 
swept away. Epictetus and the (pseudo) Longinus went out, and hence- 
forth the course in Greek was confined to the great literary movement 
of the classical period. No change was made, because there was no 
similar reason for it in the accomi)anying Latin course, but those who 
can remember Prof. Allen will not need to be told that under him the 
linguistic and literary side (but especially the latter) of the sfudy was 
more and more exclusively emphasized. Again, in 1854, by the addi- 
tion of an adjunct professor of Latin and Greek (to become in 1854 pro- 
fessor of Latin only) the instruction in the two languages was divided, 
so that greater thoroughness in teg-ching was made possible, while the 
independent value of each language as a specialty was recognized. 
From the point of view of education there is no essential difference be-. 
tween the fractioning up of an old subject into several new specialties 
and the introduction of new subjects. Still less is there any difference 
between this and similar divisions in the department of Science. 

During the whole history of the University there had been i)rovision 
made with varying degrees of completeness for such as desired to study 


French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Such study was not required for 
a dejjree; nor were the professors members of the faculty. How far 
the oft'ers thus made were accepted, it would be hard to say. In 1867 
the first wave of what has been called the "new education" struck the 
University. The changes that were made in consequence looked to 
most jieople like a removing of the old land -marks, and the setting up 
of new. It can hardly be maintained now that such was the case; 
there had been distinct, it may have been slow, piogress for some time 
back, chiefly in the matter of language and literature. There was now 
to be a sudden starting forward, but after all along the same lines; 
languages now, as before, were to lead, though science was to make its 
first halting step forward. English Imd now its place, but demanded a 
larger; other modern langu«ages were to have official reception into the 
course for a <legree ; mathematics was to enlarge its borders ; and Greek 
and Latin were not to l)e forgotten. A professor of German, and an 
assistant professor in the English department were added to the faculty. 
French, Spanish, and Italian were represented, each by an instructor; 
an instructor in mathematics was appointed. 'Two of these were to 
assist in the departments of Latin and Greek. This addition of new 
subjects to the regular course in arts necessitated the introduction of 
the nuicli-discussed but inevitable, elective system. It now came into 
full-fledged existence; but from the first moment that the compact, 
closely knit unit of Dr. Smith's course was broken, it had appeared, 
though unrecognized, in principle: for from that nu)ment, the College 
course ceased U) be one and res<^lved itself into a certain luimber (and 
what was to prevent enlarging this number) of chronologically, but 
only chronologically, i>arallel courses. From that moment, too, let us 
hasten to acknowledge it, the danger began to threaten that education 
would disappear before the training of si)ecialists. But to enter on a road 
that leails to elective courses is one thing; to reach them and deal with 
them wisely is another. All the prominent colleges of the country have 
been wrestling with this problem now more than 'twenty years. Which 
will venture to say it has successfully solved it? As inmost colleges 
in the United States, the elections here are confined to the junior and 
senior years. Of course, from the first Latin, (ireek, and mathematics 
were the stibjects affected by the introduction of elective courses ; Eng- 
lish (in what may be ealled a minor course), philosophy, and certain 
physics being required in those years. The election was made between 
definite subjects; for instance, German or Spanish might be substituted 
for (Jreek; French or Italian for Latin, etc. This system, Avith changes 
in the application of it (Spanish aud Italian were dropped from these 
alternatives) remained in vogue until 1887, when the practice was adopted 
of dividing the elective studies into two groups: Group A, linguistic 
and literary in character ; and group B, mainly scientific. From group A 
each student is required to choose two studies and from group B, one. 
There has been but little change in the details of the required subjects 


either in the first two or the hist two years, except that a larger develop- 
ment of English and English literatnrehas thrnst both French and Ger- 
man out of the freshman and sophomore years, wliere they at first figured 
as required studies for the space of a year each. Biit the number and 
variety of the elective subjects offered has of late years enormously 
increased, owing to the development of the original departments, chiefly 
the Scientific. By successive additions to the teat^hing force, ther de- 
partment of Mathematics has come to be represented by one professor 
and two assistant professors ; the department of Natural Philosophy by a 
professor, an assistant professor, and an instructor in physics, two pro- 
fessors with assistants in chemistry, professors of mineralogy, of geo- 
logy, of paleontology, of zoology, of vertebrate morphology, of biology, 
of embryology, and two professors of botany; the department of Eng- 
lish by a professor of history and English literature and a professor of 
rhetoric and the English language with an assistant; the department 
of German by a professor with an instructor (who takes charge also of 
Italian) ; the department of Ancient Languages by a professor of Latin, 
a professor and instructor in Greek, a professor of comparative philology, 
and a professor of Hebrew ; the department of Philosophy by a professor 
of intellectual andm(7ral philosophy and by a professor of experimental 
psychology. A formidable list, and one that might more justly be 
regarded as an expansion of Dr. Smith's scheme, as originally proposed, 
than of the somewhat reduced form in which it appeared after the 
transformation of 1828; an expansion, it is true, rendered possible by 
the independence then first given to separate departments. The en- 
deavor is now, as it was then, to include all true knowledge within the 
scope of the College course; but the notion has been abandoned of try- 
ing to cram it all into one poor student's head. It is easily seen that 
with the present arrangement there will be no further necessity for 
reformation of the whole course in order to make room for new subjects 
that may establish in the future'a just claini to inclusion within it, or 
to i)rovide for necessary extension of subjects already included, when 
special portions of them rise to the dignity of special dej^artments. The 
system is now so elastic that suc^h extensions will find room waiting for 
them without any dislocation of the existing order. The only thing 
that could cause serious dififu-ulty in readjusting the course, would be a 
change in the point at which election is introduced. 

In the 'course as at present constituted, the candidate for the degree 
of A. B. in the freshman and sophomore years gets - instruction in 
rhetoric and declamation (theoretically and practically); in English 
literature through lectures and themes upon topics connected with the 
lectures; in Greek and Latin, sufficient to give him a good hold upon 
those tongues for practical purposes or further study, with work in 
Greek, involving outside reading of standard manuals of antiquities 
and of history; in universal history and the Government of the United 
States; in mathematics, including analytic grometry and astronomy j 


in inorganic cliemistry, tbrougb lectures and laboratory work ; in ele- 
mentary physics; in tlie junior and senior years in English composition; 
in pjuglish literature, through lectujes and seminary work; in logic, 
ethicSj, history of philosophy and psychology; in political economy. In 
the first two years there are also lectures on hygiene by the director of 
physical education. Besides these in the junior and senior years there 
are thrown open to the students? an exceedingly wide and varied range 
of subjects for election r Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Anglo-Saxon, 
Gothic, German, French, Italian, English philology, linguistics, ad- 
vanced English composition, readings in English literature, history 
(industrial, sotrial, political, and constitutional history of the United 
States, modern history since 1789, jihilosophy of history), advanced 
mathematics, analj^tic and organic chemistry, i)ractical and mathemat- 
ical i)hysics, exi)erimental psychology, mineralogy, geology, and a num- 
ber of courses in biology. 

Nothing, jierhaps, has attracted general attention in our colleges of 
late years in greater measure than the important i)lace modern lan- 
guages have come to occupy in their curricula. Introduced at first as 
something that the public at large regarded as more " practically use- 
ful" than the ancient languages, and taught mainly with a view to 
reading, and as far as possible speaking, they have come to be treated 
as languages to be investigated philologically, and as possessing liter- 
atures t^ be studied historically and critically. An examination of 
the studies of the course, as given above, will show that the University 
of Pennsylvania has participated in this advance. By the professor 
of Gerraan and the recently added professor of Komance languages 
both French and German philology are taught, courses in Gothic 
and old French being offered to such as desire them; and in both 
languages (as Avell as in Italian) the. literature receives full attention. 
English, by the addition of courses in Anglo-Saxon and English phi- 
lology, has followed in the same direction. Students may now not only 
obtain large practical drill in the use of their mother tongue, but may 
also, if they will, learn something of its origin, its history, its growth, 
and of the linguistic laws that govern it. The large scope that within 
the last few years has been given to the study of English literature, 
;ind the method followed, which necessitates large and careful reading 
of standard classics, insure to our mother tongue that commanding 
pla<'e in a scheme of education whicii is unquestionably her due. San- 
skrit sui)plies the necessary stepping stone for the study of compara- 
tive philology, and the course offered in linguistics gives as complete 
an introduction to that interesting and growing field of study and 
research as is possible in Jtn undergraduate course. Hebrew now paves 
the road for any who desire to enter upon the field of Semitic studies. 
In psychology, tlie latest methods, the experimental — so late that there 
are doubtless many cultivated men who have hardly heard of them, 
and would regard them as paradoxical if not self-contradictory — have 


been introduced under an able investigator with a fully equipped labor- 
atory. The mere list just given of separate titles is evidence enough 
of the very large development of the course in all branches of i^hysical 
science. It is enough, perhaps, to add that withii^ the last few years 
the latest group among the natural sciences, the biol^gical, has been 
added in highly develoi)ed form. Pure mathematics, the first of the 
sciences to enlarge its borders, has in the last year largely increased 
its offers of higher work in its more si)ecial departments. 

But the advance the University has made is not more marked in the 
wider scope of specific instruction than in the imi)roved methods that 
have been introduced for the purposes of im[)arting that instruction. 
There were days when lecture and text-book instruction were thought 
sufficient, but the Avorld has gone beyond that now (one is sorely tempted 
to believe sometimes that the penduluin has swung too far and that a 
moderate return to former metliods may be advisable), and we have 
l)rogressed with it. With the growing equipment of the University in 
laboratories, museums, and library, it has become possible to put this 
method into efficient practice. By experimentation in laboratories and 
independent looking up of assigned topics in libraries, the students are 
brought into close personal contact with the subject-matter of their 
studies, are habituated to the use of works of reference, are exercised 
in the gathering and (for them) discovering of new knowledge, while 
by reports to be afterward made, either in ordinary class work or more 
formal seminaries, they are trained in the right ordering of what they 
have thus gathered, in the estimation of the relative value and bear- 
ing of facts and the interpretation of them, and in the careful formu- 
lation of their results for the information of others. They acquire thus 
a training of their powers and a pi'eparation for after study that is en- 
tirely indei)endent of the educational value of the studies themselves — 
a training in metliodical systematic work. If it be our desire, as it was 
Dr. Smith's, that our students should persevere after graduation and 
find most rational satisfaction in "xu'ivate study and meditation," there 
could be no better way than by accustonnng them before graduation to 
work of this sort under i)roper guidance. The day will come when they 
must be guides unto themselves, and they should be prepared for it. 

There is, too, this further advantage, that this will open their eyes to 
the fact that there are stores of wisdom and knowledge beyond what 
can be given by lectures and recitations, will show them some of the 
store-houses where that knowledge is to be found garnered, and will 
set them in the way, if so be that they desire it, of getting fuller infor- 
mation yet in this important matter. The personal contact with the 
subject that has already been mentioned has a force that is not half 
appreciated in educating the young; it is like getting one's feet upon 
solid ground. To have read carefully and thoughtfully a single play of 
Shakespeare, to have spelled out for one's self the details of plot and 
the development of the characterj and to have cast this into definite 


form for others to hear and understand, even if there be nothing else 
done either towards investigating the sources of the story or examining 
the language of the piece, is worth more as an educational discipline than 
a whole course of lectures on the poet, though they should be accom- 
panied by private, But cursory reading of all his works. In the depart- 
ments of physical science this is better understood; the advantage 
that accrues to the student from making his own experiments and 
gathering his oavu experience of the workings and relations of forces 
and substances hardly needs mention; but great as this is, it is small 
in comparison with tlie gain that comes from this method in the study 
of literature. 

Such is the present equipment and such the present method in the 
department of arts; in both it may claim to be abreast of the times. 
Not that there are no problenis yet to be solved — there are nu)re, per- 
haps, than we are awai"e of, and it is well that there are, for without 
them there would be no progress. The most pressing at the present 
moment is this; How to reconcile election of knowledge with enforce- 
ment of education. 

Chapter VIIL 


As near as can be determined from such old records as have come 
down to us, the first course of lectures ever given upon anatomy upon 
the Continent of America was delivered in 175 J by Dr. Thomas Cadwala- 
der, in a house, Second street, which faces Dock street, in Philadel- 
phia. Ten or eleven years elapsed before Dr. William Shippen, jr., ad- 
vertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette, November 25, 1762, that: 

Dr. Shippen's anatomical lectures will begin to-morrow evening at six o'clock, 
at his father's house in Fourth street. Tickets for the course to be had of the Doctor 
at five pistoles each, and any gentlemen who incline to see the subject prepared for 
the lectures, and learn the art of dissecting, injections, &., are to pay five pistoles 

Three years later Dr. John Morgan returned from a five years' study 
in Great Britain and upon the Continent of Europe, and laid before the 
Board of Trustees of the College of Philadelphia a plan for establishing 
ii medical school under their auspices. The earnest appeals of Dr. Mor- 
gan, sustained as they were by the high testimonials which he had re- 
ceived in Europe, resulted in his election in May, 1765, to the first medical 
professorship in America, namely, the chair of the theory and pra-ctice of 
physic. Tlie following September Dr. Shipj^en was elected professor of 
anatomy and surgery. 

Lectures were given by these professors, but it was not until 1767 
that a curriculum was prepared, and the ''requisites for a bachelor's de- 
gree in physic,"^and the "qualifications for a doctor's degree in physic," 
to be given by the College, publicly promulgated. 

The first regulations to be found in the minutes of the Board of Trus- 
tees in regard to fees is in May, 1768, when the price of tickets for the 
single course it was determined should not exceed " six pistoles" ($50), 
in addition to which there was a matriculation fee of 20 shillings, and 
each student on taking the degree of bachelor of physic was required 
to pay a fee of not less than a guinea to each profes!?or, and " likewise 
the usual fees for the seal of his diploma and for the increase of the 

The clinical lectures at the Pennsylvania Hospital, delivered by Dr. 
Thomas Bond, appear to have been an integral portion of the course, 
although it is not known that Dr. Bond was ever formally elect<«l pro- 
1180 18 273 


fesaor. In 1768 Dr. Adam Kulin was added to the faculty as the pro- 
fessor of materia medica aud botany. In June, 1768, at the first com- 
mencement of the College of Philadelphia the degree of bachelor of 
medicine was conferred upon ten candidates, the first group of the 
l(),7/>3 physicians who up to 1892 have been sent into practice by the 
Medical Department of the Universit}^ of Pennsylvania. 

In 1769 the renow'ned Dr. Benjamin Rush became professor of chem- 
istry, and in the season of 1769-'70 the announcement of the Medical 
School was as follows: 

Theory and practice of medicine, John Morgan, M. D.; anatomy, 
surgery, and midwifery, William Shippen, jr., M. D.; materia medica 
and botany, Adam Kuhn, m. d.; chemistry, Benjamin Kush, m. d.; 
clinical medicine, Thomas Bond, m. d. 

Young in years was this school and young in years were the pro- 
fessors, save Dr. Thomas Bond, who alone was over 50. Rush was 24, 
Kuhu was 28, Shippen was 33, and Morgan was 34. 

The medical lecturer in the College of Philadelphia appear to have 
been vsteadily continued, with occasional interruptions of individual 
courses, caused by absence of professors, until the breaking out of the 
Revolution in 1776; especially the occupation of Philadelphia by 
the British in 1777, caused them to become very irregular. At the close 
of the war it was alleged that some of the members of the Board of 
Trustees were disaftected toward the new Government, and by an act 
of legislature in 1779 the charter of the College was abrogated, its 
ofiicers removed, and its property transferred t<j a new institution char- 
tered under the name of the University of the State of Pennsylvania. 
The trustees of this new institution at once attempted to organize a 
new Medical Department, and requested the late professors of the Col- 
lege of Philadelphia to take their respective chairs. Of these pro- 
fessors, only Dr. Shippen accepted, and so much difficulty was found 
in obtaining other professors that the medical instruction was exceed- 
ingly irregular and imperfect, although there was no further interrup- 
tion to graduation each year. 

After ten years T)f agitation, and by the aid of Benjamin Franklin, 
on March 6, 1789, the friends of the College of Philadelphia succeeded 
in obtaining from the legislature a rei)eal of the act which had deprived 
the 'institution of its charter. One week after this the trustees rein- 
stated the medical faculty, appointing the old professors, Shippen, 
Kuhn, Rush, and Morgan. 

There were now in Philadelphia two rival, antagonistic medical 
schools ; the result was so unsatisfactory that, in 1791, espe(;ially through 
the efforts of Dr. Csuspar Wistar, an amicable adjustment was brought 
about between the two colleges, and as the result of a petition from the 
two 8<diool8, the legislature passed an act consolidating the College of 
Philadelphia and the University of the State of Pennsylvania in one 
institution, to be known as the " University of Pennsylvania " 


The degree of bachelor of medicine, which had been dropped by the 
College after its reorganization in 1789, was now abolished altogether, 
and ever since the University of Pennsylvania has given only one med- 
ical degree, that of ])o(;tor of Medicine. 

The first faculty of the University of Pennsylvania was formally 
constituted as folloAvs, attendance upon the course of botany and 
natural history, however, not being necessary for graduation: Ana- 
tomy, snrgery, and midwifery, William Shippen, m. d., Caspar Wistar, 
M. D., adjunct; theory and practice of medicine, Adam Kuhn, m. d.; 
institutes of medicine and clinical medicine, Benjamin Eush, m. d.; 
chemistry, James Hutchinson, m. d.; materia medica and pharmacy 
Samuel P. Griffltts, m. d. ; botany and- natural history, Benj. Smith 
Barton, m. d. 

The death of Dr. Hutchinson, in the latter part of 1793, was followed 
by the election of Dr. James Woodhouse, in 1795, to the chair of 
chemistry; and the resignation of Dr. Grififitts, in 1796, led to the elec- 
tion of Dr. Benj. Smith Barton to the professorsliip of materia medica. 
After the retirement of Dr. Kuhn, in 1797, Dr. Rush filled the duties of 
the two chairs — theory and practice of medicine, and the institutes 
and clinical medicine — until 1805, when the professorships were con- 
solidated. In the same year the chair of surgery was created, and 
filled by the election of Dr. Physick; and in 1809 Dr. John Bedman 
Coxe was chosen to fill the professorship of chemistry, left vacant by 
the death of Dr. Woodhouse. 

It is worthy of note that in 1806 a petition from the medical faculty 
of the University was laid before the legislature requesting that a law 
be passed which should prevent tlie practice of medicine by ignorant 
persons who had not graduated from some university or college, a peti- 
tion whose object was first advanced in the jiresent decade by a law 
regulating the practice of medicine in the State of Pennsylvania^ 

For forty-five years after the foundation of the Medical School, the 
chairs of anatomy and obstetrics Avere united, but in 1810 obstetrics 
disenthralled itself from servitude, although it was distinctly stated in 
the resolutions of the Board of Trustees creating the professorship of 
midwifery that it was not necessary for students to attend the lectures 
of such chair in order to obtain the degree of doctor of medicine, and 
it was not until 1813 that the professor of midwifery was made a pro- 
fessor of the medical faculty and attendance upon his le<;tures became 
compulsory. The first professor of midwifery was Dr. Thomas C. 
James, who was elected in 1810. In 1834 he was succeeded by Dr. 
William P. Dewees, who in 1825 had been elected adjunct professor 
of obstetrics. In 1835 Dr. Hugh L. Hodge took the chair, to be fol- 
lowed in 1863 by Dr. R. A. F. Penrose, whose resignation, in 1888, 
was followed by the appointment of two assistant professors, Drs. 
Howard A. Kelly and Barton Cooke Hirst, of whom Dr. Kelly resigned 
the following year and Dr, Hirst was raised to the full professorship. 


The chair of practice of medicine was filled by Dr. Barton from 1813 
to 1816, when Dr. Nathaniel Chapman took the position, which he held 
until 1850, when Dr. George B. Wood was transferred to it, to be suc- 
ceeded in 1860 by Dr. William Pepper. In 1864 Dr. Pepper was forced 
by ill health to retire, and Dr. Alfred Still6 was elected, to be followed 
in 1884 by the present incumbent, the younger Dr. William Pepper. 

The chair of materia medica was filled from 1813 to 1816 by Dr. Na- 
thaniel Chapman; from 1816 to 1818 by Dr. John Syng Dorsey; from 
July, 1818, to 1835 by Dr. Coxe; from 1835 to 1850 by Dr. George B. 
Wood; from 1850 to 1876 by Dr. Joseph Carson, who was followed by 
the present incumbent, Dr. Horatio C. Wood. 

In 1818 Dr. Coxe was succeeded in the chair of chemistry by Dr. 
Robert Hare, whose resignation in 1847 was followed by the election of 
Dr. James B. Rogers. After his deaths in 1852, his brother, Dr. Robert 
E. Rogers, was chosen. He filled the chair until 1877, in which year 
the present incumbent, Dr. Theodore G. Womiley, was elected. 

In 1818, at the death of Dr. Wistar, the chair of anatomy was filled 
by the election of Dr. John Syng Dorsey, who died suddenly the same 
year. After performing the duties temporarily. Dr. Physick was pre- 
vailed upon to accept the professorship in 1819. In 1831 Dr. Physick 
resigned his active connection with the school, and the chair was con- 
ferred on Dr. William Homer, who had been adjunct professor of anat- 
omy, and at whose death, in 1853, Dr. Joseph Leidy, was elected. Dr. 
Leidy died in 1891 , and was succeeded by the present incumbent. Dr. 
George A. Piersol. 

After the vacation of the chair of surgery in 1819 by Dr. Physick, 
it was filled by Dr. William Gibson, who was succeeded in 1855 by Dr. 
Henry H. Smith, after whose resignation in 1871 Dr. D. Hayes Agnew 
was elected, to be succeeded in 1889 by the present incumbent, Dr. John 
Ashhurst, Jr. 

In 1835 the chair of the institutes of medicine, which in 1805 had 
been united with the chair of practice, both to be filled by Dr. Rush, 
was separated from it, and the professorship was given to Dr. Samuel 
Jackson, who resigned in 1863, to be succeeded by Dr. Francis Gurney 
Smith. After the resignation of Dr. Smith, in 1877, the chair remained 
vacant until 1878, when Dr. Harrison Allen was elected to it. In 1885 
Prof. Allen resigned, but the present incumbent. Dr. Edward T. 
Reichert, was not elected until 1886. He, however, delivered the course 
for 1885-'86 before his election to the chair. 

In 1873 the faculty of medicine was enlarged by the election of the 
chairs of clinical medicine, clinical surgery, gynaecology and pathology, 
and morbid anatomy. The chair of clinical medicine was filled until 
1884 by Dr. William Pepper, and from 1884 to 1889 by Dr. William 
Osier, who was succeeded the same year by Dr. James Tyson. The 
first professor of clinical surgery was Dr. John Ashhurst, Jr., who was 
succeeded in 1889 by Dr. J. William White. The chair of pathology 


and morbid anatomy was filled from its foundation until 1889 by Dr. 
James Tyson, who was succeeded the same year by Dr. John Guiteras. 
Dr. William Goodell, the first professor of gynajcology, is still in active 

The first lectures of Dr. Shippen on anatomy appear to have been 
given in the rear of his father's residence, on Fourth street, above 
Market, in apartments which he had himself evidently fitted up for the 
purpose, whilst the other medical lectures in the College of Philadel- 
phia were delivered in the old Academy building, on Fourth, near 
Ai-ch. The tirst building especially arranged for the use of the medi- 
cal professors of the College of Philadelphia was situated on Fifth 
street, below Library, and was known as the Surgeons' Hall, or as Ana- 
tomical Hall. It is probable that the University of the State of Penn- 
sylvania occupied this hall after the first suspension of the College of 
Philadelphia, but at the resumption of active life by the College in 
1789, the University moved into the building of the Philosophical So- 
ciety, on Fifth, below Chestnut. The University of Pennsylvania, after 
the consolidation of the two original institutions, appears to have made 
use of the Anatomical Hall until 1800, when the trustees became pos- 
sessed, by purchase, of the edifice that had been built by the State of 
Penns.ylvania for the accommodation of the President of the United 
States, at Ninth and Chestnut streets. In 1807 new apartments, in an 
addition to the original building, were provided for the medical faculty. 
These apartments were enlarged in 1817, and in 1829 were superseded 
by the Medical Hall, in which the medical teaching of the institution 
was given until July, 1873, after which time a building in Ninth street, 
below Walnut, was occupied until the completion in September, 1874, 
of the present medical buildings in West Philadelphia. 


The instruction of the Medical Department of the University of 
Pennsylvania is conducted in the Medical Hall, Laboratory Bnilding, 
the Hospital of the University, the Laboratory of Hygiene, and the 
Wistar Institute of Biology and Anatomy. The Medical Hall con- 
tains three lecture rooms, the Wistar and Horner Museum, the His- 
tological, Osteo-Syndesmological, Physiological, Pathological, and Phar- 
maceutical laboratories ; besides an assembly room for the students and 
private rooms for the professors. The laboratory building has its lower 
floor occupied by the Clinic of Dentistry, and its upper three floors by 
the two Chemical Laboratories, and the Dissecting Room. All of the 
lecture rooms and laboratories are heated by steam, and are thoroughly 
ventilated by currents of air forced into the rooms in such a way as to 
avoid drafts. They are also brilliantly lighted by electricity. 

In all of the laboratories, whether contained in the Medical Hall or 


in the Laboratory Buildiuji-, especial ennouragcement and facilities are 
afforded for original resean^h, and for such i)arpose the laboratories are 
ke])t open during the whole year, except some of them which are closed 
during the months of July and August. 

The Wistar and Horner Museum, founded nearly one hundred yefirs 
ago, is believed to be the largest and richest of the kind in the United 
States, containing not only a very large number and a great variety of 
si)ecimeus illustrating the normal and morbid anatomy of every i)art of 
the human bodj-, but also a large number of preparations in comparative 
anatomy, and a very extensive collection of drawings and of models in 
wood, papier-mache, composition, glass, etc. At present the Wistar and 
Horner Museum occupies a large room in the Medical Hall, but through 
the generosity of Gen. Isaac J. Wistar, the Wistar Institute of Biology 
and Anatomy is being erected in immediately opposite to the Medical 
Hall ; in it the Wistar and Horner Museum is to be kept and every 
facility is to be provided for original research. The noble building is 
rapidly approaching completion and an endowment fund yielding $6,000 
l)er annum has also been provided by Gen. Wistar. The formal open- 
ing of this great museum will occur in October, 1893. 

The Histological Laboratory is furnished with numerous microscopes 
of good quality, and all apparatus necessary to enable the first course 
student to become practically familiar with the most approved methods 
of microscopical technique, as well as with the normal histology of 
all the tissues and organs. During the spring months it is ojien for 
those who desire a course embracing those refinements and minutiae 
which of necessity are omitted in the regular winter's work. 

The Osteo-Syndesmological Laboratorj' is devoted to the practical 
study of the bones and their articulations. 

The Physiological Laboratory is furnished with a large variety of 
apparatus for use in practical physiology. It is in active oi)eratiou 
during ten months of the year, so that every facility is afforded ad- 
vanced students and graduates who desire to make special studies and 
researches under the professor of physiology. 

The Pathological Laboratory is well supplied with microscopes aiul all 
appliances required for practical study and original research. It has 
also a complete outfit for the study of bacteria and of infectious dis- 
eases. Each student f>f the second year is provided with a separate 
table and microsco])e, with material and reagents, and receives personal 
insfrtu-tion in i)athological histology, in mycology, and iu the micro- 
scopy of urine. Each student of the third year receives 'advanced 
practical instruction in morbid anatomy and the making of autopsies. 
Weekly deinonstraticms of the gross appearance of specimens, embrac- 
ing all known morbid products, mostly in fresh c(mdition, together with 
the microscopic sections, are features of this course. 

The practical work during the regular Annter session is obligatory on 
students of both second and third year. Snecial instruction and guid 


ance in original research are giveu by the demonstrators to advanced 

The Pharmaceutical Laboratory is used exclusively for the teaching of 
practical pharmacy, for which purpose it is furnished with all necessary 

The Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics is chiefly devoted to 
original research, but instruction is also given by the demonstrator to 
students who desire special courses. 

The chemical laboratories are two in number. Each room is 140 feet 
in length by 40 feet in width. The lower room, is given ux) to students 
of the lirst year, who devote in it three hours each week to the study of 
(pialitative analysis. The course includes chemical manipulations and 
the detailed study of, the chemical reactions of the principal metals, 
acids, and their combinations, with the general principles of qualitative 
analysis, especially as they relate to the detection and separation ot 
metals and compounds of importance to the physician. Each student 
is provided with a separate table and apparatus, and is required to ex- 
hibit by formulfe, on paper, all reactions involved in his tests. In the 
ui)per laboratory, students of the second year spend three hours per 
week. The course embraces an introduction to the general principles 
of (quantitative analysis and the principles of volumetric analysis, with 
the practical examination of uriiie and animal fluids, and the recogni- 
tion and recovery of poisons from the animal body, and complex mix- 

The Anatomical Laboratory or dissecting room, upon the upper floor 
of the laboratory building, is 140 feet by 40 feet, and is perfectly lighted 
and ventilated. The tables have stone tops, the floor is made of as- 
phalt, and the washstands and water supply are abundant. Great care 
is given, not only to cleanliness, but also to the preservation of the 
cadaver, so that the room is practically without odor, and the danger 
to the health from dissecting wounds is reduced to a minimum. 

In the Laboratory of Hygiene practical instruction is given in the 
analysis of food-stuff's, drinking-water, and milk, and the investigation 
of adulterations or deteriorations of the same; in the determination 
of the hygros<'opic and thermo-absorbent properties of the various sub- 
stances used for clothing; in the examination of decorative materials 
for poisons; in the solution of problems in sanitary engineering, plumb- 
ing, ventilation, etc. ; and in practical and experimental bacteriology, 
disinfection, and prevention of disease. 

In the laboratory of Practical Surgery the application of bandages 
is taught to students in their first year; whilst the use of fracture 
dressings and surgical operations on the cadaver form the instruction 
to students in third year. 

The corps of teachers in the Medical Department consists of the 
Medical Faculty proper, and a large staft' of other professors, lecturers, 
and demonstrators, besides various assistants in the Hospital. 


For many years past the course of medicine in tlie University of 
Pennsylvania lias extended over three years, at the end of which period 
the dejjree has been conferred upon successful candidates. In 1893, 
the course is to be extended over four years, the whole i)eriod being 
occupied by a graded instruction, and four years of study being required 
of the students. 

Each academic year consists of a session, beginning the 1st day of 
October and lasting until early in June. 

The tirst year is largely occupied with work in the various labora- 
tories of chemistry, pharmacy, osteology, histology, and in dissection. 
The tirstyear student may also attend clinical lectures in general med- 
icine and general surgery. In the second year, in addition to didactic 
and clinical teaching, practical instruction is given in medical chem- 
istry, pathological histology, and physical diagnosis. Dissection is con- 
tinued. Throughout the third and fourth years the student is required 
to attend the geueral medical and surgical clinics at the University and 
Phi]adeli)hia hosi)itals and the clinics in special dei)artments at the 
former. Special bedside instruction in clinical medicine, inclnding 
phy«cal diagnosis and laryngology, in surgery, and in gynecology, is 
given in the third year, as are also opportunities for the practical study 
of diseases of the eye, ear, throat, and skin, and for acquiring proti- 
ciency with the various instruments emploj'^ed. For this purpose the 
third and fourth year classes are divided into sections, each of which 
receives direct personal instruction. 

The course of instruction is so arranged as to permit mainl.y constant 
introduction of new material while retaining the repetition of essential 
subjects aimed at by the old methods. The laboratory instruction is so 
coiirdinated with the oral teaching as to illustrate the subjects of the 
lectures. Advanced students are encouraged to make original re- 
searches in the laboratories of pharmacy, chemistry, physiology, pa- 
thology, and experimental therapeutics. 

The geueral details of the plan of instruction of the four years' course 
are as follows : 

First year. — General Chemistry, Materia Medica and Pharmacy, His- 
tology, Osteology, Anatomy, Physiology, Bacteriology, Medical History 
and Terminology, Physical Diagnosis, Bandaging, General Clinics (Med- 
i<'al and Surgical). 

Second year.— Medical Chemistry, Anatomy, Applied Anatomy, 
IMiysiology, Pathology, Physical Diagnosis, Therapeutics, Surgery, 
Obstetrics, (ieneral IModical and Surgical Clinics. 

Third y€ar.—A\)\}\w{[ Anatomy, Pathology, Therapeutics, Surgery, 
Ward Classes in Surgery, Minor Surgery and Fracture Dressings, 
Obstetrics, Practice of Medicine, WardClassesin Medicine, Gynecology, 
Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Otology, Laryngology (Throat and Nose), 
General Clinics, Medical and Surgical, including Philadelphia Hospital; 
Special Clinics: Nervous Diseases, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Otol- 
ogy, Gynecology, Genito-Urinary Diseases. 

s ■ 



Fourth year. — Hygiene, Piactice of Mediciue, Operative Surgery, 
OrthopfEflic Surgery, Operative Obstetrics, Gynajcology, Autopsies, 
General Medical and Surgical Clinics at University and Philadelphia 
Hospitals; Special Clinics: Ear, Eye, Diseases of Women, Nervous 
Diseases, Diseases of Children and Geuito-Urinary Diseases; Ward 
Classes in Nervous Diseases, Diseases of the Eye, Ear aud Skin ; Med- 
icine, Surgery, Gynecology. 


At the close of the fourth year a studeut who has satisfactorily passed 
all the required examinations receives the degree of doctor of medicine 
on the following conditions: 

I. He must be 21 years of age and of good moral character. 

II. He must have passed a satisfactory examination in all the branches 
of the curriculum, must have attended the i)ractical instruction in all 
departments, and his last course of instruction must have been at this 
school. (A thesis is no longer required, but students are recommended 
to prepare theses in competition for the various prizes.) 

III. He must have attended at least one case of obstetrics. • 

IV. After notice of having successfully passed the final examination, 
he must enter his name on the register of candidates for the degree. 

V. He must be present at the commencement, unless excused by the 
dean of the faculty. 

Chapter IX. 

Ill 1790 a professorship of law was established in the college depart- 
ment. Mr. Justice Wilson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, 
having been elected the professor, delivered his introductory lecture 
oil December 15 of that year, "in the quaint old fashioned hall of the 
Academy," in the presencaof President Washington and his Cabinet, 
the Houses of C(mgress, the Executive and Legislative Departments 
of the government of the State of Pennsylvania and the city of Phila- 
delphia, the Judges of the Courts, the members of the Bar, and last, 
but not least, Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Hamilton, and many other ladies. 
But Mr. Justi(;e Wilson's course of lectures, though commenced under 
such brilliant auspices, does not seem to have progressed beyond its 
first year.' Ko further effort seems to have been made before 1817 to 
give instruction in law to the students of the University. On March 
20, of that year, Charles Willing Hare, esq., of the Philadelphia bar, 
was elected Professor of Law, and delivered his introductory lecture in 
the following month. But he, like Mr. Justice Wilson, lectured for but 
one year. The subject of instruction in the law was again permitted 
to pass into oblivion, until, on A])ril 2, 1850, the Hon. George Shars- 
wood, then president judge of the district court of Philadelphia, was 
elected professor of law ; and on September 30, of that year, he de- 
livered his introductory lecture. On May 4, 1852, the trustees of the 
University established a faculty of law, and appointed Judge Sbars- 
wood professor of international, constitutional, commercial, and civil 
law; Peter McCaJl, esq., professor of practice, pleading, and evidence 
at law and in equity; and P3. Spencer Miller, esq., professor of the 
law of real estate, conveyancing, and ecpiity jurisprudence. From that 
day down to the present time the law school has beeii in activ^e opera- 
tion. Professor McC-all having resigned on June 5, 1860, P. Pemberton 
Morris, esq.., was, in November, 1802, chosen as his successor. In 1808, 
Judge Sharswood, having been promoted to the bench of the supreme 
court of Pennsylvania, the Hon. J. I. Clark Hare, his successor as 
president judge of the district court of Philadelphia (now the Court of 
Common Pleas, No. 2), was also appointed his successor in the faculty 

' Historical sketch of the Department of Law of the University of Pennsylvania, 
by Hampton L. Carson, esq. 



of the law school. Professor Miller having resigned his professorship 
in 1872, E. Ooppee Mitchell, esq., was, in 1873, elected to the chair of 
real estate and equity jurisprudence. In February, 1874, James Par- 
sons, esq., was elected professor of the law of personal relations and 
personal property. Professor Morris having resigned in 1880, George 
Tucker Bisphara, esq., was elected the professor of equity pleading 
and practice. Professor Mitchell having died in 1887, C. Stuart Pat- 
terson, esq., was elected professor of real estate and conveyancing, 
and A. Sydney Biddle, esq., was elected professor of practice, pleading, 
and evidence at law and criminal \^w. To the great loss of the school, 
and to the great regret of his colleagues and of all who have ever had 
the benefit of his instruction in the law, Judge Hare in the spring of 
1889 resigned his professorship, but, fortunately for the administration 
of justice, he remains upon the bench of the court of common pleas 
over which he has presided since 1868. In May, 1889, Samuel S. Hol- 
lingsworth, esq., was elected professor of the law .of contracts, corpo- 
rations, and pleading at law, and George S. Graham, esq., the district 
attorney of Philadelphia, was elected professor of criminal law. In 
April, 1891, Professor Biddle died. Hon. George M. Dallas, now 
a judge of the circuit court of the United States, was elected as his 
successor. In addition to the changes in the personnel of the faculty, 
changes have been made from time to time in the division and 
arrangement of the subjects of instruction in the school; and at the 
present time the titles of the several chairs in the Faculty are as follows : 

1. A professorship of commercial law, contracts, and decedents' es- 

2. A professorship of equity jurisprudence, including the principles 
of and pleading in equity and orphans' court practice. 

3. A professorship of constitutional law and the law of real property 
and conveyancing. 

4. A professorship of the law of torts, evidence, and practice at law. 

5. A professorship of the law of contracts, corporations, and pleading 
at law. 

6. A professorship of criminal law. 

The present prosperity of the school is due to the intelligent and self- 
sacrificing labors of those who have heretofore been its professors and 
those who were associated with them. It is fitting, therefore, that those 
who have succeeded them should gratefully record their appreciation 
of the virtues and abilities of their predecessors. 

(Jeorge Sharswood, the first of the professors, was born in Philadel- 
phia on July 7, 1810. He was graduated from the University in 1828. 
Having studied law with Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll, he was admitted to 
the bar on September 5, 1831. On April 18, 1845, he was raised to the 
bench of the district court of Philadelphia. In 1 848 he became by senior 
ity the presiding judge of that court. In 1868 he was elected an asso- 
ciate justice of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, and on January 1, 


1880, he became the (5hief justice of the State. On January 1, 1883, 
he retired from the bench; and he died in May, 1883. It is unnecessary 
to remind students of the law or lawyers of his Lectures Introductory 
to the Study of Law, of his essay upon " Professional ethics," or of his 
annotations of Blackstone, of Starkie on Evidence, or of Byles on 

Peter McCall, the second of the professors in the order of seniority 
was born in New Jersey on August 31, 1809. Having been graduated 
at the College of New Jersey, he came to the Philadelphia bar on No- 
vember 1, 1830. He died on November 2,1880. He was for many years 
one of the leaders of the Philadelphia bar. Profoundly learned in the 
law, he was, in his intercourse with all who were brought into contact 
with him, a model of courtesy. 

E. Spencer Miller was born in 1818. He was graduated at the Col- 
lege of New Jersey. After some years of practice in Maryland and 
afterwards in New Jersey, he was admitted to the Philadelphia bar 
on May 6, 1843. From then until the day of his sudden death, March 
6, 1879, he was engaged in active practice. He was a clear and ac- 
curate thinker, untiring in energy, and a very forcible speaker. Pro- 
fessor Mitchell characterized him as the most successful lecturer that 
the bar of Philadelphia has ever produced. 

P. Pemberton Morris was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 
1816. He was graduated at Georgetown College. He studied the law 
in the office of the Hon. Job R. Tyson, and was admitted to the bar of 
Philadelphia on February 8, 1840. In 1849 he published a learned 
treatise on " The law of replevin," which has ever since been regarded 
as of high authority. In 1856, he annotated Mr. Smith's work on the 
Law of Landlord and Tenant. He was for many years engaged in 
active practice, mainly on the equity side of the courts, and those who 
were so fortunate as to be his clients always found in him a sound and 
judicious adviser. 

Edward Coppee Mitchell was born in Savannah, on the 24th of July, 
1836. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1855 
and came to the bar in 1858. He died in 1887. 

He, upon whose weaker shoulders the University has laid the burden 
of succeeding Professor Mit<;hell in the Chair of Real Estate Law, may 
say that every day which he has spent in the performance of bis duty 
as a professor has caused him more and more to appreciate the high 
character of his predecessor's work, and to realize that Professor Mitch- 
ell's itn timely death has been an irreparable loss to the University 
and to the cause of legal education. 

Algernon Sydney Biddle, a son of George W. Biddle, one of the 
leaders of the Philadelphia bar, was born at Philadeli)hia 11th of Oc- 
tober, 1847. He was graduated at Yale College in 1868 with high 
honor and admitted to the bar of Philadelphia on 27th of January, 
1872. He rose rapidly in his profession. He died at Philadelphia on 


8tli of April, 1891. His learning in the law and his enthusiasm in 
teaching were remarkable, and in his too brief career he rendered great 
services to the University. 

It need not be said that a school which numbered among its teachers 
such men as Chief Justice Sharswood, Judge Hare, Mr. McCall, Mr. 
Miller, Mr. Morris, Mr. Mitchell, and Mr. Biddle, and those who were as- 
sociated with them, gave thorough instruction in the law. But those pro- 
fessors, in the i)erformance of their duties, labored under disadvantages 
which have happily been removed from the paths of their successors. 
The course was in their time limited to two years, each year including 
two terms of four months each, with an aggregate of ten hours of instruc- 
tion each week. Now the course has been extended to three years, 
with a minimum of twenty hours of instruction in each week. Formerly 
the lectures and examinations have been conducted at the University 
buildings in West Philadelphia, at a distance from the homes of the 
students and from the offices of their x)receptors. Now, the Law School 
has obtained commodious (quarters in the building of the Girard Trust 
Company, at Broad and Chestnut streets, in the business center of the 
city and in convenient proximity to the homes of the students, the 
offices of their preceptors, and the courts. The sixth floor of that 
building is occupied by the lecture rooms, library, and the offices of 
the executive department of the school. Formerly the law school had 
not a library appropriated to the use of its students, but now, by the 
liberality of the family of the late George Biddle, esq., a library, con- 
taining complete sets of the English Reports, the Federal Eeports, and 
the reports of the courts of last resort of the several States, has been 
presented to the University as a meinorial of that distinguished law- 
yer, and this librai^ is yearly receiving substantial additions. The 
curriculum of the school now includes thorough instruction in the fol- 
lowing topics of the law : Constitutional Law, Equity Jurisprudence, 
Contracts, Baihnents, Corporations, Carriers, Real and Personal Prop- 
erty, and Conveyancing, Wills and Administration, Torts, Practice, 
Pleading and Evidence at Law and in Equity, and Criminal Law. It 
is to be hoped that before long arrangements will be completed for 
courses of lectures to be delivered by competent instructors in Inter- 
national Law, Admiralty, Patents and Copyrights, and Medical Juris- 

The requisites of admission to the school are — 

1. A satisfactory degree as Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences; 

2. A certificate of preliminary examination from the board of exam- 
iners of the bar of Philadelphia; or, 

3. A certificate from two or more examiners appointed by the Fac- 
ulty of Law, setting forth that the student has passed a satisfactory 
examination in English and American history, the Latin language, and 
the first two books of Blackstone's Commentaries. 

n ^ 


• The course of instruction is strictly graded and the instruction is 
given by lectures and by frequent examinations. The studenfs are re- 
quired to read and discuss the leading cases illustrating the subjects 
of instruction. Moot courts are frequently held, at which questions 
prepared by the professors are argued. 

Under the statutes of the University a degree of bachelor of laws is 
granted to candidates who, having attended upon the full course of 
instruction in the Law Department and having prepared and submitted 
to the faculty an essay on some legal subject sufficient in merit to sat- 
isfy the faculty of their fitness to receive the degree, shall have passed 
a satisfactory examination upon the subjects of instruction. The degree 
of bachelor of laws cum lionore is granted to such candidates as may be 
certified by the faculty to have passed the final examination with dis- 
tinction. Graduates of the school are admitted to practice in the su- 
preme court of Pennsylvania and in the court of Philadelpliia County, 
upon compliance with the rules of the courts as to registration. There 
is also a post-graduate course of study, covering two years and involv- 
ing a philosophical inquiry into the history and sources of the law. 
Graduates of this course receive the degree of master of laws. A system 
of fellowships has been created, under which the fa<iulty may select from 
the graduating class a distinguished student and appoint him a resi- 
dent " Fellow " to serve for three years, at an annual salary of $300, 
and to give instruction in the Law School, under the direction of the 
dean of the faculty. The aim and end of the system of instruction of 
the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania is to tram students 
of law so thoroughly that when they shall have been graduated they 
will be competent to enter into practice at any bar in the United 

Since the establishment of the Law School in 1850, more than TOO 
students have been graduated, most of whom have engaged in active 
practice and by their professional success have reflected credit upon 
their Alma Mater. 

The roll of the school for the academic year 1891i-'93 reports present 
for duty : 

Faculty. — The provost, 1; the dean, 1; professors, 5. 

Staff. — Fellows, 4; librarian, 1; assistant librarians, 3. 

Students. — Third-class, 56; second-class, 50; first-class, 80; special, 16. 

Total, 202. 

Chapter X. 


The Towne Scientific School, substantially as it now exists, was 
created by a resolution of the Board of Tmst^-es of the University of 
Pennsylvania, passed at its meeting on June 1, 1875. Even at this 
time, however, the educational importance of scientific and technical 
training had, for twenty-five years or more, occupied the attention 
of the authorities of tlu; University. At its meeting on the oth of 
March, 1850, upon reconnuendation of the <;ommittee on the government 
of the College, the Board of Trustees had adopted a resolution "that 
it is expedient to provide for a School of Arts.'; In May, 1850, the 
board had resolved " that, for the puri)ose of establishing a School of 
Arts in connection with the University, a professor be elected to serve 
without charge to the University," the committee on the government of 
the College being re(piested to make a report on the title of the profes- 
sorship. In October this committee had recommended that the new 
chair \%. called the "Professorship of Chemistry as applied to the Arts." 
Whereupon the board accepted this report and at once elected James 
C Booth to this professorship. Professor Booth entered at once upon 
the duties of his chaii?, and in the issue of th«'- University catalogue for 
1851-'52 the course of instruction in the " Department of Chemistry as ap- 
l)lied to the Arts,'' is announced as " the same as that of the experimen- 
tal laboratories now generally attached to European univei'sities." The 
number of students was limited to 10, each sttuleut being "sup[)lied with 
the requisite apparatus and chemicals to pursue his own experimental 
investigations, under the direction of the professor, with competent 
assistance." " The course of experiment is varied," says the prospectus, 
" a<H'ording to the special object in view. Familiar lectures are given by 
the professor, to students exclusively, upon the following subjects: 
Mineralogy, Geology, Theoretic and Applied Chemistry." The new 
department was so successful that in 185.'i the aid of three assistants was 
required in the laboratory, the number of students having increased to 
13. Instruction in it was continued until the resignation of Professor 
Booth, in February, 1856. 

1180 19 - 289 



Meanwhile, on the Gth of Jannary, 1852, the Board of Trnst«e.s re- 
ceived a conimunieation from the Faenlty of Arts relative to a reorgani- 
zation of the course of instruction in that department. At the April 
meeting, the committee on the government of the College, to whom this 
communication had been referred, made a report prevsenting a plan for 
the reorganization of the Department of Arts. On the 20th of Ajnil, 
the special committee, to which this report had been referred, reijorted 
in favor of its adoption, and on May 4, 1852, after a full tliscussiou, the 
plan was finally adopted by the board. Most of its provisions relate 
solely to the Department of Arts, but section 3 is as follows : 

If any one sliall have attended one course in Natural Theology and tlic Evidences 
of Christianity, all the courses in the Departments of Mathematics, ^'atural Philos- 
ophy, and Chemistry, and two courses in Modern Languages, or two courses in Moral 
and Natural Philosophy, or two courses of Physiology and Natural History, he shall 
he entitled to receive the degree of Bachelor of Science. 

Section 6 reads thus: 

Such students as shall have received the degree of Bachelor of Science (of three 
years' standing) shall he entitled to the degree of Master of Science, on presenting 
to tlie J'aculty a thesis which shall give satisfactory evidence that the author has 
continued to devote himself with success to science. 

This action of the University authorities is doubtless to be regarded 
as a concession to the growing demand in the community for a course 
of education more scientific and less classical in its character; a course 
I)rei)aring the student for a wider range of life work than was to be 
found within tht^ three learned professions. This i)arallel and elective 
course Avithin the Dei)artment of Arts went into operation at once, and 
is announced in the University catalogue for 1852-53. Several sii^udents 
are enrolled in this and subsequent years as taking this course, and 
Heruy A'ethake Totten was gTaduated in 1854 as the first Bachelor of 
Science of tlie University. / 


A more imixirtant movement, however, was in process of develop- 
ment. The special committee, which had reported favorably on April 
20, 18,52, reported not only a plan for the reorganization of the Depart- 
ment of Arts, Imt also a jdaii for establishing a School of Mines, or, as 
it was amended at the meeting, a School of Mines, Arts, and Manufac 
tures. On the 1st of .lune, 1852, the lioard of Trustees considered very 
fully the proi)ose<l i)lan, and adopted the report of the wmimittee as 

Rettolretl, Ihal it is expedient to establish a School of Mines, Arts and Manufac- 
tures as one of the departments of the University, and such dejiartment is hereby 
established ui)on the following jtlan : 

I. The course of instruction in the school to occuj)y three years. 

II. Pupils may be admitted at the age of 16. 


III. The school to consist of the following departments, viz: (1) Natural Phil- 
osophy, indmlinf? (Jenenil Chemistry; (2) Technical Chemistry, Chemical Analysis 
ami Metallnrgy; (3) Pure Mathematics; (4) Civil Engineering, General Mining, 
Surveying, Art of Mining, Mining Machinery; (5) Geology, Mineralogy ami Pale- 
ontology; (6) Sketching and Plan Drawing; (7) Theoretical and Practical 
Mechanics, and its Application to Machinery; (8) The^ German and French Lan- 

lY. Thg studies to be so conducted by the respective professors as to combine strict 
theory with the fullest practical instniction ; and for this ])urpose, every oppor- 
tunity to be taken for visiting with the pupils the various workshops and manu- 
factories within reach, the use of instruments to be taught in the field, and the 
months of July and August to be devoted to geological excursions and visits to 

V. Examinations of the pupils to be licld once a year, by the respective professors, 
in the presence of a committee appointed by the Board of Trustees, of which com- 
mittee at least one member shall be of competent practical knowledge in the par- 
ticular department. 

VI. An appropriate degree to be given to graduating pupils. 

VII. Pupils may attend but one or more departments and shall, on completing 
their studies, receive a certificate of proficiency in such department or departments. 
Such certificates to be from the University, bj^ authority of the Board of Trustees. 

It was further resolved at this meeting: 

That thQ first, second, sixth and seventh departments shall be under the care and 
instruction of Professors Booth and Frazer ; and the third under the care of Professor 
Vethake, until otherwise arranged. And that professors shall be chosen for the 
fourth and fifth departments. 

Ou the 5th of October following, the faculty of the School of Mines, 
Arts, and Manufactures was completed by the election of Charles B. 
Trego as professor of geology, mineralogy, and paleontology, and J. 
H. Alexander as professor of civil engineering and mining. Subse- 
quently on the 26th of October, 1855, upon the resignation of Professor 
Alexander, the Board of Trustees elected Fairman Rogers to the pro- 
fessorship of Civil Engineering and Mining. 

The existence of the two courses of scientific instruction already in 
operation in the Univeri^ity seems to have retarded the practical estab- 
lishment of the School of Mines, Arts, and Manufactures. On the 20th 
of March, 1855, however, a gpecial committee of seven, of which Bishop 
Alouzo Potter was chairman, which had been appointed in January of 
that year to consider the subject of a reorganization of the Collegiate 
Department, made a report in which incidentally a resolution was of- 
fered requesting the committee on the government of the College to — 

Ascertain as early as may be whether the gentlemen elected to the several pro- 
fessorships in the Department of Mines, Arts, and Mannfactures still hold such ap- 
pointments, find if they do whether they .are prepared to enter upon their duties; 
and if so, to fix the time for opening the schools in the said Department, and 
annoTince it by suitable advertisements in the city of Philadelphia, the State of 
Pennsylvania, and elsewhere as they may deem most fit. 

This resolution having been adopted by the board at its next meet- 
ing, the committee on the government of the College, at the October 
meeting, reported vacancies in the chair of pure mathematics and in 


that of civil engineering. The hitter professorship was immediately 
filled by the election of Fairman Kogers, as above stated.' Pie entered 
at once upon its duties, and began on the 19th of November, 1855, 
a course of twenty-eight lectures upon civil engrneering. These lec- 
tures were delivered to a class of five students and were concluded on 
the 28tli of Jaiuiary, 1856. Tiie announcement of the Department of 
Mines, Arts, and Manufactures appears for the first time in tfie cata- 
logue of the University for the year 1855-'56. 

As a proof of the general interest taken in this movement to estab- 
lish technical instruction in the University, the following communica- 
tions to the Board of Trustees niiiy be cited. On the (Jth of March, 
1855, the .Vmerican Iron Association held its meeting in Philadelphia. 
One of the objects of the association, as set set forth in its constitution, 
being *'to encourage the formation of such schools as are designed to 
give the young iron master a proper and thorough scientific training 
preparatory to his engaging in practical operations," the convention 
passed the following resolution : 

Whoreiis this coiivtMition is infoniicd tliat it is proposed by the University of Penii- 
eylvauia to establish a Sc-liool of Arts aiul Mines, and that one of its objects will he 
the proper instruction and trainin}^ of pupils in such hrauches of knowledge and 
practice as arc required for the management of iron works: Therefore 
- Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention the establishment of such a 
Bcho<d is eminently to the economical conduct of the iron manufacture and that we 
will give to it our hearty support under the care of the Universitj'. 

Tlie second comniunication, dated Ai)ril 3, 1855, is from the committee 
of ways and means and informs tlie board that by the will of the late 
p}lHott Cresson, esq., the sum of $5,000 is bequeathed to his executors 
in trust, "to be applied toward founding a school of mines for develop- 
ing the mineral treasures of my native vState." 

On the 5th of February, 1850, the committee on the government of 
the College made a further report on the Department of Mines, Arts, 
and Manufactures, and recommended that thereafter it be composed of 
the following professorships: 

A professorship of natural philosophy; a professorship of technical 
chemistry and metallurgy, embracing their af)plication to themanufacture 
of iron and other metals; a professorship of pure mathematics; a profes- 
sorship of civil engineering and surveying; a x)rofessorship of mining; 
a professorship of geology, mineralogy and paleontology; a professor- 
ship of the fine arts, embracing the element.'^ of drawing and sketch- 
ing from nature and their application to practical art; a professorship 
of architecture and practical building; a professorship of theoretical 
and practical mechanics. 

The report closed with the following resolution : 

Iteaolved, That tlie Department of Mines, Arts, and Manufactures bo constituted 
in the manner and with the j)rof<'ssorship8 re«U)mme&ded ])y the committee on the 
government of the College; that nominations to fill the vacant professorships be 
made at the next stated meeting of the board; and that the same committee b3 in- 
8tru<-ted to consider and report such further ujeasures as may be necessary for the 
organization of the department and the opening of the schools. 


This resolution was adopted, and the committee was requested " to 
take such measures as may be necessary for the eflftcnent orgauizatiou 
ol'tlie Department of Mines, Arts, aii<l Manufactures, so that the same 
may go into operation and instruction therein may be given at the Uni- 
versity during the collegiate term succeeding the next vacation." 

On the 2d of December, 18r)0, the committee reported that they had 
"succeeded in jnaking arrangements for a course of instruction in said 
department, to be carried on during the ensuing winter months." The 
report goes on to say that — 

The faculty of the department consists of Professors Frazer, Rogers, Trego, and 
Kendall, the three lirst-naniod gentlemen having been regularly elected to chairs in 
the school, and Professor Kendall 4iaving cheerfully and i)rrtmptly entered upon duty 
at the request of the committee, and under promise that his appointment should be 
confirmed by the trustees. ' The course of instruction will for the pi-esent term ccnisist 
of lectures on natural* i)hilo8ophy, mechanics, and chemistry, by Professor Frazer ; 
civil engineering, surveying, etc., by Professor Rogers; geology and mineralogy, by 
Professor Trego, and mathematics, by Professor Kendall. The term commenced ou 
the Ist instant, and the introductory lectures will all be delivered during the present 
week. Indeed, the course is intended to be so eminently practical and direct that 
introductions in the ordinary sense of the term will form but a small part of the 
instruction given by the professors. The lectures are to be delivered ou Monday, 
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week, at from 4 to 6 o'clock 
in the afternoon. The committee congratulate the board on the opening of this 
important department of instruction, and they invite for it the cordial sympathy, 
publicitj', and confidence of the trustees. It is believed by the committee that the 
large and important interests involved in the studies of such a department will, 
when it comes to be known, secure for it a liberal endowment. In order, however, 
to place it fairly before the public, and to show that it is pi-operly estimated by 
the guardians of the University, some expenditures should be made; and these, as 
well as a plan for securing a permament endowment, the committee recommend, 
shall be had under the following resolutions: 

liesolred, That the committee on expenditures and accounts be directed toanquire 
into and report on the expediency of making an appropriation of the sum of $500 for 
the purpose of defraying any exiienses that may be authorized by the committee on 
the government of the College for establishing, opening, and conducting the Depart- 
ment of Mines, Arts, and Manufactures for its present course of instruction. 

liesolcedf That the committee on the government of the College be requested to re- 
port a plan having for its objeiit the procuring of a proper endowment for the said 

These resolutions were adopted by the board and the by-laws were 
amended so as to create a standing committee on the Department of 
Mines, Arts, and Manufactures. Mr. John C Cresson, Mr. Henry D. 
Gilpin, and Mr. Frederick Fraley were appointed such committee, to 
whicii Mr. Stephen Col well and Mr. James Bayard Avere subsequently 

The course of instruction thus providexL for in the Department of 

' Professor Kendall had been elected to thechair of mathematics in the Department 
of Arts August 7, 1855, to succeed Professor Vethake, transferred to the chair of iutel* 
lectual and moral pbilosoi>hy. Professor Kendall was elected to the Department of 
Mines, Arts, and Manufactures January 8, 1857. 


Mines, Arts, and Manufjictures began on the 1st day of December, 
1850, and eontinned until tlie .'iOtli of March, 1857 ; Professor Frazer giv- 
ing thirty lectures on the Theory of Mechanics and its Application 
to the Construction of Machines, and on ('heniistry, its theories and the 
properties of botlies and their compounds, with its apjilications in the 
arts; Professor Kendall gi\ing thirty lectures on I'ure Mathematics 
and its connection with practical science; ProfessorKogers fifty lectures 
on Civil Engineering and Surveying; on triangulation and compass, 
linear, mining, and hydrographic surveying; and on construction, 
strength of materials, beams, arches, and the special applications to rail- 
roads, canals, and water- works; and Professor Trego thirty lectures on 
Geology as applied to the origin, order, and geographical distribntion 
of rock formations and its practical application to mining, manufac- 
tures, and agriculture, and on Mineralogy as applied to the constituent 
materials of rocks, the external and chemical charjicter of ores and 
mineral substances, their connection with the various rock formations, 
and their uses in Metallurgy and Manufactures. The number of stu- 
dents enrolled as in attendance upon this course of instruction is twenty- 
two. The same course of instruction substantially was continued dur 
ing the winters of 1857-'58 and 1858-'59; the class numbering seven- 
teen students during the former period and thirteen during the latter 
l)eriod. On the 3d of May, 1859, Prof. J. P. Lesley was elected to the 
chair of mining, and his course on this subject was added to those of 
the other professors during the winter of 1859-'G0, the class numbering 
eighteen students. 


On tlie 2d of February, 18G4, the board appointed a special committee 
" to consider the subject of the endowment by the State from the public 
lands approju'lated theteto, with power to request a ix)rtion of them for 
the University." On the 10th this committee reported — 

A jilau necesdary for Ihc proper a)>plicati(>n by tlie University for a portion of said 
grunt, a8 follows: 
The Boanl of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do ordain: 
That tlift I)e])artnient of Mines, Arts, and Manufactures is hereby established as 
"The College of Agriculture, Mines, Arts, and the Mechanics Arts" in the University 
of Pennsylvania, and shall be governed by such rules and regulations as the Board 
of Trustees of this University shall ordain. 

That without excluding other scientific and classical studies, there shall be, besides 
the present ])rof(>ssorslii])s, viz: 

Natural jdiilosophy and cheniistry. 

Technical chemistry and nietalliirgy (embracing their application to the manu- 
facture of iron iiiid other metals). 

Civil engineering and surveying. 

Geology, mineralogy, and paleontology. 
Fine arts (embracing the elements of drawing and sketching from nature and 

their applicatitm to the practical arts). 
Architecture and practical building. 


Theoretical and practical mechanics ; — 

First. A prufessorshij) of agiicultural chemistry and scientific agricnlture. 

Second. An instrnctor in practical agricnltnrc. 

Third. A profes.sorshlp of military tactics and iustrnction in military drill. 

Fourth. A ]trofessorship of botany. 

That the said Collejje is especially established in (U'der to promote the liberal and 
practical edncation of the indnstrial < in the several xnirsnits and professions 
of life. 

This re])oit was accei)t<Ml and its recomiiieiulatioiis sulopted by the' 

On the 4th of December, 18GC, Prof. C. J. Stills, who had been elected 
to the chair of Belles-Lettres and English language and literatnre on 
May 1, 1866, sent a comnuinication to the board containing sngge^^tions 
on the reorganization of the collegiate department. The special com- 
mittee to which this communication was referred made a report on 
January 1, 1867, in which, after considering the Department of Art^, 
they say : 

The consideration of these changes and tlie reasons for them directed the attention 
of the committee to the Department of Agricultnre, Arts, Mines, and ilannfactures 
that was established some years ago, and was partially organized and pnt into opera- 
tion. It is believed that snch a department is much needed in our city for a thorough 
course of instruction in the arts mentioned in its title, but it has languished for want 
of a sufficient endowment. If the proposed changes in the Department of Arts shall 
bo adopted by the trustees there will bo a necessity for an appeal to the iiublic for 
funds properly to endow the additional professorships, and such an appeal should 
include one for the real Scientific and Technological Schools above named. 

The committee presented the following resolution, which was adopted 
by the board : 

Resolved, That application be made to the public for such an enlargement of the 
means of the University as will enable tlie trustees to establish in the Department 
of Arts professorships of history and general literature, of modern languages and 
physical science, and also a sutlicient endowment for the Department of Agriculture, 
Arts, Mines, and Manufactures, 

On the 7tli of July, 1868, Professor Stills was elected provost of the 
University. The new Department of Science constituted one of the 
most prominent features in his plans for the development of the institu- 
tion. In his inaugural address, delivered in the Academy of Music 
on the 30th of Sejiltember, he emphasized strongly the importance of 
this subject, insisting "that a scientific school ought to be established 
as a distinct department of the University and sliould be liberally en- 

Closely connected at this time with the question of a School of Science 
was the broader question of securing a more desirable location for the 
University as a whole. On the 2d of June, 1868, the Board of Trustees 
had taken action as follows: 

Resolved, That the committee on endowment be requested to inquire into the 
expediency of removing the University from its present site, and to ascertain wtere 
a desirable location can be obtained for the institution. . 


Oil the Otli of October the committee reported resolutions declaring 
it expedient to change the location of the University, and appointing a 
special committee to negotiate with the city of Philadcli>hia for tJie 
purcluise of a portion of the city farm in West Philadelphia. This 
sjiecial committee reix>rted on the 4th of January, 1870, that they had 
secured the jiassage of an ordinance by which about 10} acres of the 
land referred to had been secured to the University. The purchase 
was at once ratitied by the board and the transfer of the property was 
effected; and on the 1st of March, 1870, the subject of the improve- 
ment of this lot of land was referred to the committee on the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Arts, INIines, and Mechanic Arts. This committee 
prese«ited a ]>reliminary report on the 3d of May, embodying "the gen- 
eral features of a plan for tlie new University building which would 
secure ami)le accommodations for both the Department of Arts and the 
Department of Science." On the 10th day of May the general features 
of the plans presented were approved by the board and referred back 
to the committee for completion. The final plan was laid before the 
board by the committee on the 28th of February, 1871, and was at 
once adopted. At the same meeting the contract for the new building 
was awarded, and on the 15th of June, 1871, the corner stone of this 
building was laid with appropriate ceremonies. 


On the 2d of January, 1872, the Board of Trustees of the University 
passed a resolution — 

Tliat the plan lor the orgauization of the Scientific School, in connection with the 
Department of Arts, he referred to the Couiniittee on the Department of Ajfrifulture, 
Mining. Arts, and Mechanic Arts, in connection with the Committee on the Depart- 
ment «if Arts. 

This joint committee, on the 5tli of March, reported a proposed plan 
of orgauization, which was adopted and printed, and also a resolution 
" That the Board of Trustees do hereby establish a new department 
and faculty of the University, to be called the J3epartment of Science," 
th(^ Department of Agriculture, Mines, Arts, and Mechanic Arts being 
tliere])y abolished and the title of the standing committee being altered 
t« correspond. On the 14th of May resolutions were passed by the 
board cxmstituting the faculty of the Department of Science, and re- 
( I nesting this faculty to meet and decide upon a programme of studies, 
and in connection with the faculty of arts to prepare a roster, the i)ro- 
gramme and the roster to be submitted to and approved by the com- 
mittee on the Department of Science. The board also resolved— 

That the provost shall jirepare a special announcement of the organization and 
iDurse of study in the Deitartment of Science, which, when approved by the said 
cummittee, shall be jtrinted and distributed. 


In the spring of tlie year 1872 tlii.s special aunouucemeut of the plan 
of organization and courses of study of the new Department of Science 
was issued. In this prospectus it is stated that — 

The design of the instruction is to give a thorough technical and- iirofeusioual 
training to those wiio proposecngaging in tlie following, among other ])ursuits, viz: 
In theniistry, with its nianifohl applications to the industrial arts; in mineralogy, 
geology, and mining; in metallurgy and assaying; in engineering, civil, mechauical^ 
and mining, and in mechanical drawing and architecture. In order that this pro- 
fessional course shall be complete and systematic, and rest upon a hroad basis, so 
that the student at its close may not be a mere specialist, Init a man of liberal educa-I 
tion as well, it has been determined that the course shall be a comprehensive one, 
extending through four years. The first two years will l)e devoted n«)t merely to a 
thorough training in the j)reparatory atid elementary mathematics, i>hy8ics, chem- 
istry, and nu^thods of physical research generally, but a considerable jiortion of the 
time will be given to instruction in certain English studies — history, logic, rhetoric, 
and oratory — as well as to the modern languages and to mechanical drawing. At 
the close of these two years the student is presumed to be prepared for studies of a 
strictly professional or technical character, and he will then select one of four 
parallel courses in which instruction is given in this department, and during the 
bust two years his work will be confined to the studies of one or other of these 
courses, in accordance with the plans he may have formed in regard to his future 

The new university building was erected on the square bounded by 
Locust, Spruce, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-sixth streets. It was opened 
for the reception of students on the 16th of September, 1872 and was 
formally inaugurated on the 11th of October following. It is 254 feet 
in length and 102 feet in depth. 

The western wing [said Mr. Sellers, the chairman of the building committee] has 
been arranged for the use of the Department of Arts, the eastern for that of the De- 
partment of Science; whilst certain portions of the center building are intended for 
the cqmmon nse of both departments, such as the chapel, library, assembly room, 
etc. Besides these, the building contains 16 rooms devoted to instruction in chemis- 
try and its applications, 4 to ])hysics, 6 to geology and mining, 4 to civil and mechan- 
ical engineering, 3 to drawing, 3 to mathematics, 1 each to English literature, his- 
tory, intellectual and moral i^hilosophy, Greek, Latin, French, German, rhetoric, and 
oratory. The laboratories have been fitted up with the most complete modern ap- 
paratus and models; museums and other improved means of illustration have been 
abund.antly provided. 

The fiicilities of the new Scientific School are still further stated in 
the prospectus : 

In the basement story there are 2 preparing chemical laboratories and 2 physical 
laboratories, a metallurgical laboratory, a lireproof furnace room, rooms for gold 
and silver assaying, and an apparatus and diagram room. In the first, second, 
and third stories are the chemical and physical lecture and apparatus rooms; labo- 
ratories for ([ualitative, quantitative, and organic analysis; professoi-'s private labo- 
ratory and balance rooms; and also large recitaticm, lecture, and nuxlel rooms in the 
Departments of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Mining, Mineralogy. Metallurgy, 
Architecture, and Drawing. 

The faculty of the Department of Science, as organized in 1872, was 
as follows : Charles J. Stille, ll. d., provost of the University, profes- 



sorof history and Euglisli literature; .J. Peter Lesley, a. m., dean of 
the fa<.'iilty, professor of jifeolo^y aud liiiiiiug; Frederick A. Gentli, A. 
M., rii. u., professor of analytical and applied chemistry and mineral- 
ogy; Leonard Creorge Franck, c. e., professor of civil and mechanical 
engineering; John F. Frazer, ll. d., professor of natural philosophy 
and chemistry; Persifor Frazer, jr., A. M., assistant professor of nat- 
ural philosophy and chemistry; E. Otis Kendall, ll. d., professor of 
mathematics; liev. Robert E. Thompson, A. M., assistant professor of 
mathematics, and Librarian; John O. E. McEhoy, A. M., adjunct pro- 
fessor of Greek and history; Oswald Seiden sticker, ph. d., professor of 
the German language and literature; F. Amedee Bregy, A. m., profes- 
sor of the Frencli language and literature; Samuel M. Cleveland, a.m., 
professor of rhetoric and oratory; Thomas W. Eichards, instructor in 
drawing; Lewis M. Haupt, instructor in mathematics and engineering. 

(candidates for admission to the Department of Science must have 
attained the age of IG years, and were required to pass examinations in 
" ancient and modern geography, in English grammar, in arithmetic, 
and in algebra as far as quadratic equations,'' 

During the first or freshman j^ear and the second or sophomore year, 
the students in all the courses were instructed in common in mathe 
matics, modem languages, drawing, and the elements of chemistry, 
geology and mineralogy. At the beginning of the tliird or junior year 
each student was required to make an election between the four i)aral- 
lel courses of study prescribed for the Scientific Department, namely : 

I. Analytical and apjdied chemistry aiul mineralogy. II. Geology 
and mining. III. Civil eagineering. IV. Mechanical engineering. 

In the first of these courses, the junior year was devoted to blowpipe 
and qualitative analysis aud to the preparation of the rarer chemical 
substances, and the senior to quantitative analysis, gravimetric, volu- 
metric, and organic. In the second course the study of general and 
physical geology o(?cupied the junior year, and that of mining the senior 
year. In the third course, the junior student continued his mathematics 
and drawing, and took up in addition applied mechanics and elementary 
engineering and geodesy; advanced engineering and geodesy being 
taught in the senior year. The student in the fourth course, in addition 
U) matliematicsand drawing, took uj) in tlu; junior year applied meclianics 
and the i)rinciples of mechanism ; these studies being continued through 
the senior year, with special reference to the designing of machinery. 
Besides the exclusively technical instruction, the students in all these 
courses were to receive instruction in physics, in modern languages, in 
Englisli literature, in history, aud in social science. 

In the catalogue of tlie University of Pennsylvania for 1872-'73, 
seven students are enroHed as "scientific students in the Department 
of Arts," under the old elective system. Besides these, the students 
in the new Department of Science number 98, distributed as follows: 


Seniors, 8^ juniors, 0*; sophomores, 21; and freslimen, 4"). The names 
of fifteen stmhMits also appear as taking special or partial conrses. 

The announcement of the Department of Science concludes as fol- 
lows : 

In Peunsylvania, the chief scat of coal-mining and iron-making, and in Pliiladel- 
phia, the most im])ortant focus of American manufattuies, Huch ])ractical instruction 
in minincr, metallurgy, civil engineering, and uu'chunical science is not only indis- 
pensable, but takes precedency of merely didactic tuiticni, such as was formerly ac- 
counted a suflficient 8ui>plement to a liberal education. The students of this Depart- 
ment of the University are, therefore, not only taught to comprehend the principles, 
but to exercise themselves in the technical labor of a professional life of the highest 
order, before assuming its responsibilities in the outside world. Th<'y are trained 
in outdoor survejing, nuike specimen geological surveys, visit manufactories, con- 
strnct models of machines, and will be required hereafter to put ores through metal- 
lurgical processes on a larger scale than is possible in the analytical laboratories. 
Every year will add to the scope and eflfteieucy of the instruction organized on this 
practical basis. 


In April, 1873, John Henry Towne, esq., was elected a trustee of the 
University, and at once took a warm interest in the development of the 
new Department of Science. At his death, in 1874, it was found that 
he had provided liberally f<u" this department in his will, leaving to it 
the residue of his large estate. 

At its meeting June 1, 1875, the Board of Trustees took the following 
action : 

■ A letter having been read announcing that Mr. Towne, bj'his will, had bequeathed 
to the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania the residue of his estute, after the 
payment of certain charges, to form a ])ortion of the endowment fund of the Univer- 
sity, the income of the same to be applied exclusively for the jjayment of the sal- 
aries of the professors and instructors in the Department of Science, and a certified 
copy of said will was submitted to the board; whereupon it was — 

Resolved, That the tru-.tees, in accei)ting the trust confided to them by Mr. Towne, 
desire to express their grateful recognition of the important services rendered by 
him, while he Avas a member of the board, to the interests under their charge. 

liesolred, That in endowing permanently the Department of Science with a sum of 
money larger (it is believed) than has ever been given by any one i)erson to support 
the teaching of Ai>plied Science, the memory of Mr. Towne ought to be cherished as 
that of a great benefactor, not only to the University, but also to the community, 
for the advancement of whose highest interest the l^niveraity is maintained. 

Resolved, That as a projier, just, and grateful tribute to Mr. Towne's memory, and 
as «>ne means of perpetuating the same, the Department of Science, which he has so 
nuniificently endowed, shall be hereafter known as "'The Towne Scientific School 
of the University of Pennsylvania." * 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Board are justly due to Mr. Towne'a family for 
their concurrence in his desire to establish here a system of scientific education on 
the largest, most liberal, and permanent basis. 

In consequence of this action of the board, the Department of 
Science has been known since 1875 as "The Towne Scientific School of 
the University of Pennsylvania." 




Tlie Department of Science, imder tlie name of " The Towne Scientific 
School," Avhile retaining substantially the same general organization 
as that on ^vhich it was origijially planned, has been from time to 
greatly broadened in its scope and materially modified in its details to 
meet the demands for a wider and more advanc-ed technical education. 
In 1882 the course of instruction, which hitherto had been only four 
years in length, Avas increased to five; at first, by intercalating an ad- 
ditional year between the sophomore and Junior years, called the sub- 
Junior year, and, subsequently, in 1884, by phu'Jng this extra year at 
the chjse of the course and calling it a j^ost-senior year. 

Candidates for admission must be i^repared in English grammar and 
etymology, in ancient history and liistojy of the United States, in 
mathematics through solid geometry and (puwlratics, in Latin through 
the first three books of Virgil, and in French or German. 

Instruction is provided for in four technical courses, as follows: 
(1) Pure and applied chemistry. (2) Metallurgy and mining. (3) Civil 
engineering. (4) Mechanical and electrical engineering. 

The instruction given in freshman and sophomore years is common 
to all these technical courses, consisting in the freshman year of En- 
glish, of history, of mathematics (including trigonometry), of drawing, 
and of German or French; and in the sophomore year of these subjects 
continued, including analytical geometry, calculus, and descriptive ge- 
ometry, and inorganic chemistry, mass physics, and English literature. 
Moreover, in Junior and senior years, certain studies are required of all 
students in the Towne Scientific School, whatever the particular course 
selected by them. These studies include, in the Junior year, modern 
languages, philosophy, mathematics, history, and general physics, and, 
in the senior year, besides ai)plied mathematics and experimental phys- 
ics, the subjects of English, of econ(nnicsand social science, and of met- 
allurgy. The i)Ost-senior year is devoted entirely to technical studies 
in the i)articular course which the student has elected U) jmrsue. 

1, Course hi pure and applied chewisfry. — Instruction in the course in 
pure and applied chemistry is given by one professor and tliree instruct- 
ors, as follows: Edgar F. Smith, rh. d. (Gottingen), professor of chemis- 
t ry ; Lee K. Frankel, rh, d., b. ,s., p. c, instructor in analytical chemistry ; 
Walter J. Keith, Ph. u. (Gottingen), instructor in general chemistry; 
.Iiilius Ohly, Ph. D. (Gottingen), instructor in general chemistry. 

The facilities for instruction in this technical course are very com-, 
plete. Laboratories are provided in general chemistry, in qualitative 
and quantitative analysis, in organic chemistry, and in industrial 
chemistry, in addition to the lecture and recitation rooms, also required. 
The e(iuipmeut of the Chemical Department is also excellent. The col- 


lections of apparatus and material needed to demonstrate the laws of 
chemistry and to determine the various chemical constants required, 
not only in laboratory Avork but friso in researcli, are considerable. 
Electrolytic chemical methods have been especially provided for, and 
extensive collections of chemicals and chemical products have been 
made to illustrate the applications of chemistry to tlie industrial arta. 

The instruction given in this course may be stated somewhat in de- 
tail as follows: In the preparatory year the sophomores receive instruc- 
tion by practical laboratory exercises covering the principal points in 
theoretical and general and in organic chemistry. The juniors attend 
courses in organic chemistry, mineralogy, and qualitative analysis. 
They also work in the laboratories, making the chara<'t€ristic reac-' 
tions of inorganic bases and acids, as well as (pialitative separations of 
the most complex substances. Written reports on the results of their 
work are required. 

The seniors receive instruction by lectures and recitations in an 
branches of quantitative analysis, applied chemistry, metallurgy, and 
organic ^d theoretical chemistry. Practical work, embracing all of 
the above-named branches, is continued. 

During the first term of post-senior year the work of senior year may 
be continued if deemed advisable. In the meanwhile the subject for 
thesis may be chosen in order to allow the student time to read up all 
accessible matter relating to it, so that the greater portion of the sec- 
ond term can be devoted to the necessary experimental researches. 

The seniors and post-seniors attend courses of lectures on the appli- 
cation of inorganic and organic chemistry in the industrial arts. These 
lectures for the most part are given by graduates of the school, who 
are now engaged in technical occupations in tlie time of these lectures. 
The classes also make excursions to chemical works, under the direc- 
tion of the instructors. 

The post-seniors attend lectures on theoretical chemistry and electrol- 
ysis applied to (quantitative analysis. 

2. Course in mefallunfy and mining. — The course in metallurgy and 
mining has been placed in charge of the professor of chemistry, Dr. 
Edgar F. Smith. The instruction is given mainly by Amos P.* Brown, 
B. s., E. M., instructor in metallurgy and mining. 

The Department of Mining and Metallurgy is provided with metal- 
lurgical and assay laboratories and with drawing rooms for mining 
engineering, in addition to the usual lecture and recitation rooms. Its 
equipment includes large and complete cabinets of minerals and geo- 
logical specimens, besides the collections of materials, models, and 
'drawings required to illustrate the course and to make the work of the 
student thoroughly i)ractical. 

Students in metallurgy and mining are trained to take intelligent 
care of the ever-growing, important int<irests represented by these in- 
dustries. In recognition of the extent of knowledge embraced in this 


field, they are given the option of devoting themselves more particularly 
to either branch. Those who incline to become managers of mines, or 
examining and reporting engineer^, will take more studies in civil and 
mechanical engineering, and those who i)ossess greater aptitude for 
chemical studies will devote themselves rather to experimental metal- 
lurgy, whilst the lectures provided for the course are participated in 
by all. A greater thoroughness is expected to result from this provi- 
sion. This instruction aims to develop the student's power of initiative. 
During the past year new laboratories have been furnished for students 
in mining and metallmgy. They contain all that is needed for thorough 
instruction in the difterent branches of these subjects. 

3. Course in civil engineering. — The personnel 6f instruction of the 
course in civil engineering is as follows : Edgar Marburg, c. E., acting 
professor of civil engineering; Walter Webb, c. e., instructor in civil 
engineering; Charles Worthington, c. e., instructor in civil engineer- 

Besides the ordinary recitation and lecture rooms, the department of 
civil engineering is provided with drawing rooms and with modeling and 
construction rooms; these are equipped with the instruments, appa- 
ratus, and tools required not only for familiarizing the student with 
the principles taught, but also for enabling him to become practi- 
cally acquainted with the modes of construction and procedure in the 
processes of civil engineering in general, including surveying and 

The students in civil engineering are instructed by recitations, lec- 
tures, and practical work. Afternoons and Saturdays are devoted to 
drawing and practical work in the shop, or to surveying or visiting 
public or private works, manufactories, etc. During the last year of the 
course the time is devoted largely to examinations and reports upon 
engineering works in process of construction, to making estimates and 
designs for new i)rojects from data collected in the field, and to the 
preparation of theses. 

In visiting shops and manufactories students are required to collect 
all the practical information jmssible, and to embody it in a written 
report, noting particularly any new or special features for economizing 
time or materials, improved methods of assembling parts, etc., as well 
as the general plant, apparatus, and facilities for receiving and shipping 

The field practice embraces the various problems in chain surveying, 
the measurement of areas, and the computation of results; line sur- 
veys and location, cross sections and levels for estimating quantities, 
hydrography, topography, with the plane-table, and the solution of such' 
geodetic problems as relate to the orientation of maps. 

The course in drawing includes the projection of maps, various meth- 
ods of representing topography, conventional signs, problems in shades, 
shadows, and perspective, details of framing, comi)osition, general 


dravN'iiif; for constiuctioHs in wckmI, stont', ami iron, special (le>;igns, 
workin{? drawings for modeling, i)latting, drawing of profiles and cross 
sections, and drawings for theses. 

4. Course in mechanical engineering. — The instruction in the course 
in mechanical engineering is given by the professor in charge of 
the department, aided by f«mr instru(;tors and assistant instructors, as 
follows: Henry W. Spangler, Whitney professor of dynamical engineer- 
ing; A. W. Schramm, b.»s., m. e., and L. E. Picolet, instructors in me- 
chanical engineering; H. W. Huffinton (U. S^ N. A.), instructor in elec- 
trical engineering; DavwlR. Griffith, assistant instructor in mechanical 
engineering ; J. J. Morris, assistant instructor in mechanical engineering. 

This department has recently been provided with mechanical and 
.electrical laboratories and shops, and with recitation and drawing rooms, 
all well equipped with the necessary machinery, apparatus, and tools 
required for illustrating and investigating the principles of mechanical 
and electrical engineering, with reference to their practical applica- 

These are located in a large building constructed for the purpose in 
ctmnection with tlie Central Head and Light Station, from which all the 
buildings ot the University, over a space of forty acres, are supplied 
with steam heat, forced ventilation, and electricity for power and light. 
A very large and practical working plant, containing various tyj)es of 
boilers, engines, and electrical machinery is thus made additionally 
useful in illustration of the teaching of the department, 
-^ The instruction for students in mechanical engineering is eminently 
practical, and is given fey recitations, lectures, and exercises in the 
laboratory. The recitations are i>rincipally from text-books, which thus 
form the basis for the work to be done in each subject. AVhenever these 
are not available the instruction takes the form of lectures, with use of 
the books of reference in the Kogers Engineering Library and in the 
private collections of the professors. To render the work of the student 
regular from day to day, and to assure self-reliance in study and cer- 
tainty that the principles of the subjects are thoroughly understood, 
whenever possible, practical i)roblems are given to the class for solu 

The subject of applied mechanics is divided into a number of parts 
for facility of instruction, and is taught under the following heads: 

Grax)Mcal statics, under Avhich is taught the general theory of the 
grai)hical method of determining the strain in framed structures, and its 
practical application to numerous examples. 

Statics, as applied to rigid bodies, the strength and elasticity of 
materials, and forms of uniform strength. As an accurate knowledge 
of this branch of the subject is indispensable to a well equipped en- 
gineer, the class-room instruction is made as exhaustive as possible, 
and each student is required to carry out, on the testing machine in the 


laborattuy, a series of experiments in tension, compression, and cross- 
breaking". The work in this branch is continned until the instructor is 
satisfied that tlie subject is thoronglily understood. 

HydroHtatica and hydraulics, embracing the equilibrium and pressure 
of fluids, determination of specific gravity, velocity, and flow in pipes, 
channels and jets, continuity of flow, etc. 

Ki nematics J under wMvAi head is taught the principles underlying ele- 
mentary combination of mechanism, theory o^ the teeth of wheels, and 
the practical methods of Ijiying them down, cams, belts, pulleys, speed 
cones, and link work, epicyclic trains, and other aggregate combinations 
of mechanism. 

Hydrodynamics, covering dynamic head, contracted veins, surfaces of 
equal pressure and head, laws of fluid friction, hydraulic mean depth, 
resistance of mouthpiece, pressure of jets and water meters. The' 
theory and practice of building water wheels and turbines are also given. 

As a sound knowledge of steam engineering is one of the most im- 
portant parts of a mechanical engineei ing training, a large proi)ortion 
of the time is devoted to this snbject. The work is divided into several 
branches, and extends over the last years of the course. 

Nomenclature. — An elementary course in the general nomenclature of 
the steam engine and boiler and their attachments is given in the junior 
year. The ordinary forms of engines and boilers are described, and the 
general details of cylinders, valves, pistons, connecting rods, bearings, 
indicators, gauges, x^tc, rendered familiar by blackboard sketches and 
by the practical use of the apparatus in the workshops and laborato- 
ries. To make the students more conversajit with ordinary forms of 
engineering appliances, their fundamental differences or similarities, 
and many of the advantages and disadvantages of their use, a more 
extended course is given in senior years. 

A majority of the jmmps, gauges, indicators, dynanometers, speed- 
iiulicators, and counters, and other appliam-es in common use are thor- 
oughly studied. Trade circulars, a complete set of which is kept in the 
dcj)artment, are used to a very great extent for examides. 

The steam engine. — In junior year is given a full course on the 
Zeuner diagram, as ai)plied to slide valves; and in the cases of many 
of the automatic cut oft'engines, now so common, W\<i method of apply- 
ing the Zeuner diagram to designing is taught. The radial gears, such 
as the Hackworth, Marshall and Joy, are treated in the same way, and 
in nearly all (rases the ac(;uracy of the Zeuner diagram is shown from 
actual examples. 

In the senior year the designing of the parts of the steam engine is 
begun. All those parts which must be designed from a consideration 
f»f th<^ stresses acting on them are first considered, and the method of 
ai)plying the formulic of statics shown. Each student is then assigned 
one of the more familiar types of engines, such as the Armington and 
Sims, Porter-Allen, Corliss, Ball, or Westinghouse, and is required to 


design the principal parts of the engine, using his calcalations wliere 
the question of strength enters, and studying the i)articular type for 
the details, wliich can only be determined by experience. Working 
sketches and many of the working drawings of the engines are made. 

Steam boilers. — The study of steam boilers is taken up in uuicli the 
same manner as that of the steam engine. The methods of determining 
the sizes of the parts from a consideration of their strength, such as the 
thickness of shell, size of rivets, braces, furnaces, etc., the character and 
physical properties of the materials used in the construction and the 
operation of the boilers are discussed. The methods of constructing 
boilers of diflFerent types, with their advantages and disadvantages; 
boiler mountings, and the proper and improper methods of connection ; 
considerations afiecting the life of a boiler; boiler explosions; the 
methods of determining the efficiency of fuels, of heating surfaces and 
of boilers, and the usual methods of calculating and erecting chinmeys 
are treated in their turn. Each student is required to make the princi- 
pal calculations for one of the well-known boilers, and to make working 
sketches and drawings from his own designs. 

Thermodynamics. — In the i)Ost-senior year the subject of thermody- 
namics, as applied to perfect and imperfect gases, is taught, and the 
principles are aj^plied to the solution of jiractical questions i>ertaining 
to air, gas, and steam engines, refrigerating machinery, injectors, con- 
densers, etc. 

The steam laboratory has been newly fitted with a complete set of 
apparatus for carrying out tests in steam engineering. A new steel 
boiler of 25-horse power capacity is fitted for making boiler tests, the 
water supply being so arranged that the water can be drawn from 
tanks or fed through a meter. A 10 by 24 Hamilton-Corliss engine is 
especially fitted for test purposes. Through the kindness of Mr. Fred- 
erick M. Wheeler, the department has been furnished with a surface 
condenser, so that the steam from the engine can be discharged into 
the condenser or into the air, thus enabling the students to measure the 
quantity of steam used after passing through tlie eugine. Indic^ator 
rigging is provided, and the department is well supplied with indicators, 
speed counters and indicators, planimeters, and special gauges, and all 
apparatus necessary for carrying out routine or special work in this di- 
rection. Calorimeters of the various types are in use, and i)rovision is 
made for comparing and standardizing gauges, indicators, thermometers, 
and all apparatus used in the tests. This engine is fitted with a brake 
for absorbing and measuring the power given oft' by the engine, or it 
may be connected with a line of shafting in the laboratory for the pur- 
pose of running the other apparatus in this department. A Thurston 
standard oil ti'sting machine is used for carrying out tests on oils, and 
the 50,000-pound testing machine and Thurston torsion machine are 
used for experimental purposes. Dynamometers of dift'erent kinds, to 
fit different experimental work carried out, are provided, so that a 
1180 20 


student has an opportunity of studying and exi)erimentiiig with the 
apparatus usually used in making mechanical tests. 

Shopwork. — A large floor space i^ set apart for work in wood and 
metals. Provision is made for the instruction of 10 students in wood 
work an»l 10 in iron work at the same time, and a competent mechanic 
is in charge of each division, under the direction of the head of the 
department, thus insuring const-ant and careful supervision of the work 
of every student. Each bench is supplied with a complete set of the 
tools necesvsary to carry on the general ^\'ork, and special tools are 
issued as needed. All the work is done to blue prints of working 
drawings made in the dei^artment. The course extends over two 
years, and the time is equally divided between the two shops. Dar- 
ing the junior year the student learns in the wood shop the methods 
of handling the tools, keeping them in good order, making joints and 
similar work. A part of the time is spent on the wood lathe. In the 
iron shop cast-iron blocks are provided, which are finished with the 
file or scraper, the student getting a good idea of the